Children’s Officer assigned to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Carolyn Beckford, is reminding Jamaicans that they have a responsibility under the Child Care and Protection Act to report known and suspected cases of child abuse.
“Children are entitled to protection from abuse, neglect and harm,” Beckford said at a Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Medical Services Branch Counselling Department virtual event held on April 8.
She noted that under Section 8 of the Child Care and Protection Act, a child in need of care and protection is one who has no parent or guardian or has a parent or guardian unfit to exercise proper care, or a child exposed to danger, is destitute and wandering without any settled place of abode, and begging or receiving alms.
“Each person has the responsibility to be alert to the signs of whether a child will be in need of care and protection. Is there an unfit parent or guardian; is there physical, emotional or sexual abuse, like incest; is the child a victim of violence, or is the child exposed to child labour? No child under 13 years should be employed,” she said.
Beckford noted that there are restrictions to the employment of children over 13 years of age.
Some of these restrictions include no involvement in hazardous work, the work should not interfere with their education, and there should be no involvement in the sale of liquor.
To report child abuse or a missing child, persons may call, toll free, 1-888- PROTECT (776-8328); WhatsApp/Text: 876-948-2841-2; and