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Opposition calls on Government to do more for sexually abused children

Posted: April 5, 2012

The Opposition Jamaica labour Party (JLP) has joined calls for the government to urgently establish a Sex Offenders Registry.

The system which operates in many countries tracks sexual offenders and allows residents access to the information.

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness has voiced concerns following reports that over 7,000 children have been sexually assaulted over the last four years.

Mr Holness wants Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding to ensure that the registry is up and running in short order.

He is also asking Attorney General Patrick Atkinson to rule quickly as to whether the public will have access to the registry as is done in other jurisdictions.

Mr Holness is proposing that all persons who have been convicted of sexually abusing children in particular be placed in that registry and their names be made public.

The opposition leader says he believes that the registry will give parents and communities more power to protect their children from sex predators.

Mr Holness states, that Jamaica’s children must be protected from predators at all cost and he wants the relevant authorities including the police and the courts to apply the letter of the law.

This week a number of groups which focus on children also urged Jamaicans to break the silence on this violation of children's rights.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has given a clear warning that her administration will get tougher on persons who are responsible for abusing the nation's children whether through neglect or deliberate action.

Speaking at the launch of a National Road Safety Poster Competition at Jamaica House this morning, the prime minister declared that all will be done to protect the children of Jamaica.

Mrs Simpson Miller said she has already had discussions with the minister of justice with a view to reviewing the relevant laws regarding the protection of children.

The prime minister adds that the children's advocate will be implementing a series of measures to help change the culture of ignoring acts of abuse against children.


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