- “We join the Government and people of Jamaica in drawing a line and sounding the alarm that we are in a crisis”
The European Union-United Nations Spotlight Initiative will convene a virtual roundtable on sexual violence against children on Thursday 28 October at 5:30 p.m., to outline detailed proposals for strengthening and enforcing relevant laws.
Expressing condemnation of the deeply damaging trend in sexual violence against children, UNDP Resident Representative Denise E Antonio said the multi-agency Spotlight Jamaica Team stands with the Government and people of Jamaica in drawing a line and sounding the alarm that the nation has met the threshold for the highest level of alert in a crisis.
Thursday’s event – Red Alert: Arresting the Child Sexual Abuse Emergency, will discuss the urgent need to strengthen key provisions under the Child Care and Protection and Offences against the Person Acts, and also reference the Sexual Offences, Child Pornography and Cybercrimes Acts. Issues related to strengthening effectiveness of the law will also feature in the proposals.
The roundtable will be headlined by Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon Robert Nesta Morgan and moderated by Emprezz Golding, gender and child rights activist and talk show host. Experts on the agenda are: Warren Thompson, Deputy Registrar of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency; Professor Paula Morgan University Director of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies; Tania Chambers, Spotlight legal consultant; Jayson Downer, Founder of Men of God Against Violence and Abuse, and Joy Crawford, Executive Director of Eve for Life.
The virtual event will support the government’s 211 toll free line for reporting child abuse and provide key learning moments such as: How to identify a sexually abuse child; perspectives from adult survivors of child sexual abuse; the scale of the issue in Jamaica and how men can stand up and be advocates against abuse.
The joint Spotlight Team is inviting stakeholders, partners and the general public to join the discussion during the event’s open mic session and to advance specific calls for action from the roundtable in social media spaces using the hashtag #WeMustAct Now. The public is invited to register at: https://bit.ly/30JL564
This is the second in a series of advocacy webinars tailored to explore legislative and policy issues, gaps and solutions addressing violence against women and girls. The final roundtable in the series will be convened on Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Against Women as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence on 25 November.
The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. Launched with a global seed funding commitment of €500 million from the European Union, the initiative represents an unprecedented global effort to invest in gender equality and women’s empowerment as a precondition and driver for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Jamaica represents one of the largest investments in Caribbean Spotlight countries, with an 8 Million Euro allocation. Participating agencies are UN WOMEN, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, PAHO
The six pillars of the Spotlight Initiative are: Developing and implementing relevant legislation and policies; Strengthening national and sub-national institutions; Preventing violence through evidence-based programming and campaigns; Strengthening quality essential services for victims and survivors; Ensuring the collection and use of prevalence and incidence data; and Partnering with civil society organizations.