Reporting child abuse and neglect is now easier and simpler through the introduction of the 211 hotline.
The three-digit hotline, which has been operational since June 2021, provides an easy avenue for children to self-report when they are being victimised.
It is also for use by persons who wish to make a report of child abuse or neglect.
State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Robert Morgan, told JIS News that the 24-hour hotline is the first of its kind in Jamaica and replaces 888-PROTECT, which was sometimes difficult for children to remember and difficult to dial. The number can be dialed from a cellular or landline telephone free of cost anywhere in Jamaica.
“We worked with the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and telecommunications providers Digicel and FLOW to have this three-digit hotline,” Mr. Morgan told JIS News.
“What the Ministry has been trying to do… is raise the profile on the issue of child abuse in Jamaica. We recognised that a lot of child-abuse incidents are not reported, and our aim is to inform all Jamaicans about the importance of protecting our children,” he added.
The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) through the National Children Registry (NCR), which is authorised to collect information, is managing the calls. There is also collaboration with the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), Office of the Children’s Advocate and all other relevant agencies to give assistance where needed.
The 211 hotline will be officially launched during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday (September 22), beginning at 10.00 a.m.