Opposition spokesperson on youth, Lisa Hanna has chided the Jamaica Labour Party administration for its “lacklustre” approach to finding solutions on violence against the nation’s children.
Hanna was responding to another recent shooting incident in West Kingston, in which a child was among the victims. Yesterday, a five-year-old girl was among four people shot in the area while a two-year-old boy was shot dead late last month.
In a press release today, Hanna urged the Government to urgently enact the recommendations to amend the Child Care and Protection Act and the Criminal Justice (Administration) Act that were intended to impose stiffer penalties for persons who murder, rape or commit other serious violent offences against children, and to take the necessary administrative steps to ensure that those cases be afforded priority scheduling and disposal in the Courts.
She explained that the People’s National Party administration had taken measures to amend the existing legislation to impose harsher penalties to people who commit crimes against children.
The former youth minister also condemned the government, which she said, have not seen it fit to implement The National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence.
This plan, according to Hanna, was advanced during her tenure as minister and provided a coordinated and structured approach to addressing the key issues and challenges pertaining to children as victims, perpetrators and witnesses of acts of violence and abuse.
“We must be swift and urgent in sending a clear and unequivocal signal to the perpetrators and those negligent in the care and protection of our children, that the full force of the law will be brought against them so that we can stamp the monster of violence in our country,” Hanna said.