CRC selected recommendations from March 2015:

  1. The implementation of a national strategy with a coordinated and organized approach to address including prevention activities and awareness campaigns;
  2. The amendment of its legislation to prohibit corporal punishment and the approval of the National Safe School Policy which addresses the issue of violence in schools;
  3. The formulation of a national strategy to establish an easy accessible mechanism for children to report cases of violence, and the subsequent protection services for the child victims.
Political will and coordination Prime Minister Andrew Holness stressed the need for urgent and combined commitment to deal with the threat of violence: “As a pathfinder country, Jamaica is committed to providing comprehensive, coordinated and multisectoral services for preventing and responding to violence. We are prepared to strengthen legislation to protect children from all forms of violence and exploitation by bringing all sectors together in a movement to end violence and provide children with a meaningful role at the heart of that movement. Through this partnership, we are making use of a key opportunity to take the lead in making a difference and we owe it to our beloved children to do so.” The lead ministry, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI) of Jamaica, with support from UNICEF, has appointed a senior coordinator (consultant at the University of the West Indies Institute of Criminal Justice and Security) to the technical working group (TWG) on VAC. The group includes representatives from the prime minister’s office and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Health, Education, Labour and Social Security, as well as from child-focused NGOs and foundations..
Consultation The Jamaican Government decided to review existing interventions, policies and legislation to enable greater combined action guided by the global INSPIRE strategies. In November 2016, close to 100 stakeholders from six ministries and key government line agencies, the United Nations, the private sector, academia, youth and civil society representatives met at the Office of the Prime Minister, for a high-level launch of the Jamaican initiative. In addition to the TWG on VAC, the Violence Prevention Alliance in Jamaica continues to provide guidance and information on all forms of violence to government agencies, NGOs, FBOs, community-based organizations and the media and is working to finalize Jamaica’s Pathfinder Road Map, coordinated by MOEYI..
Data collection The World Bank/UNICEF supported Crime Observatory Project combines data about crime and violence from several organizations, including the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the University of the West Indies Institute of Criminal Justice and Security. These data are being used by UNICEF, the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches and other agencies to target interventions for children. In addition, Jamaica published its first multi-stakeholder national study on bullying and peer abuse, Investigating the Prevalence and Impact of Peer Abuse (Bullying) on the Development of Jamaica’s Children (UNICEF Jamaica, 2015)..
National road map/action plan The Government of Jamaica has been working on evidence-informed policy initiatives and programmes, including prohibiting corporal punishment in early childhood institutions; passing the Child Care and Protection Act; supporting the National Plan of Action for Child Justice; and establishing the Office of Children Advocate, the Office of Children Registry and the Early Childhood and Parenting Support Commissions. In addition, the MOEYI is spearheading the development of the National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence. Cabinet approved the National Plan of Action on Gender based Violence which was launched on 6 December 2017.
Implementation and evaluation Key initiatives to end VAC in Jamaica include the following interventions within the INSPIRE strategies: (I) set up separate lock-ups for children, separating males and females, and legislation allowing video evidence in court; (R) establish a hospitalbased child abuse mitigation programme (CAMP Cornwall) in a region experiencing high levels of violence; (N) support the Behaviour Modification and Corporal Punishment in Schools task force; and (E) scale up the UNICEF-supported Schoolwide Positive Behaviour Intervention and Support framework in government schools.
Budget The Government of Jamaica currently spends JM$14 billion (US$110 million). An additional JM$3.26 billion (US$26 million) per year is needed, representing an additional JM$3,800 (US$30) per day for each child in Jamaica..
Opportunities
  1. Finalize the National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence based on data being collected in the country;
  2. Conduct a study on the economic impacts and costs resulting from the consequences of physical, psychological and sexual VAC;
  3. Ensure ongoing support for the coordination of a multi-stakeholder group on VAC; and
  4. Expand programmes, such as the Child Resiliency/Peace Management programme, and the School-wide Positive Behaviour Intervention and Support framework to ensure prohibition is appropriately resourced and implemented, including through awareness-raising campaigns and training on positive discipline for parents and professionals
References
  • Summary of Activities–10 Years of Working for a Violence-Free Jamaica, Violence Prevention Alliance, 2015
Reporting into SDGs Jamaica will report to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2018 (July).
Government contact Kamina Johnson-Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Floyd Green, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information