Jamaica News: The Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA) has launched Child Justice Guidelines Posters, which are designed to better equip justice sector stakeholders to deal with children coming in contact with the justice system.
They were unveiled during the opening ceremony for the OCA’s ‘Child Justice Guidelines Training Seminar’ for members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and Justices of the Peace (JPs), at the Grand Palladium Resort and Spa in Hanover on Saturday, September 21.
The posters, which will be mounted at police stations islandwide, depict visual aids and reminders derived from the Child Justice Guidelines.
The Guidelines are encapsulated in a publication initially issued in 2013, and represents the first such document in the Caribbean.
It serves as a resource handbook for judges, defence lawyers, prosecutors, police, correctional officers, and any other individual who must deal with a child at any stage of the process of coming in contact with the justice system.
Speaking at the event, Children’s Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison, indicated that the posters are intended to aid the police and JPs execute their duties more effectively while observing the rights of children.
“When we look at the issues that were recurring [and] some of the calls that we would get from police officers to ask for assistance, we thought that these visual aids would be great reminders,” she explained.
Mrs. Gordon Harrison advised that Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, has endorsed the initiative, adding that “we will be dispensing all of these posters… which will [provide] timely messages and reminders for you [police and JPs] and members of the public”.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Gordon Harrison said the training seminar represents “a significant milestone in a journey that has seen the OCA having meaningful discussions with the diverse stakeholders in the justice sector”.
“Who better to have the dialogue with than our very own police and Justices of the Peace? We need you as our strategic partners in this process. It is you [JPs] who are the first responders at the police station and in the communities that you serve,” she argued.
In his remarks, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Clifford Blake, who represented the Major General Anderson, noted that the OCA has been instrumental in safeguarding the rights of the nation’s children.
He emphasized that this is a “responsibility that the JCF shares and takes seriously”.
“Over the years, the JCF in partnership with key agencies, has develop several policies to support our laws to provide for the safety of our children and to ensure that their rights are protected,” DCP Blake indicated.
He noted that one of the JCF’s latest policies saw the organization developing the Child Interaction Policy and Procedure (CIPP), “which clearly provide guidelines for our members with established protocols on how to sensitively treat with persons under the age of 18”.
Additionally, DCP Blake said the JCF is engaged in several children intervention initiatives such as the School Resource Officers programme, youth clubs, summer camps, and community programmes.
Source: JIS News