The Jamaica Coalition on the Rights of the: Child was established in November 1989 as an umbrella body to promote the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in Jamaica.
Some of the objectives of the Coalition are to:
Lobby the Government of Jamaica to include the Convention on the Rights of the Child in all Government of Jamaica plans, policies and programmes and to introduce legislation in keeping with the the provisions of the Convention.
Educate the public about the rights of children and the UN Convention.
Assist social service organisations to understand and prepare for the implementation of the Convention.
Facilitate and monitor the implementation of the Convention.
The History of the Convention
•On November 20, 1989, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
• The Convention established a set of international laws/ guidelines covering the civil, economic, social and political rights of children worldwide.
• These laws support the rights of children to survival and development, proper
health care, education, an identity, freedom of expression, equality and protection from exploitation.
• In January 1990 the Convention was opened for ratification.
• The Convention came into force in September 1990 after it had been ratified by 20 United
Nations member countries.
• Jamaica ratified the Convention on May 1, 1991 thus making it binding law for this country.
The future of any nation is dependent on the nurturing,
education, health care, guidance and proper treatment of its children.
Definition of a child: A child is a person under 18 years, unless national laws fix an earlier age of majority.
Best interest of the child: The state must provide the child with adequate care when parents, or others charged with the responsibility fail to do so.
The child’s opinion: Every child has the right to express his or her opinion freely, and to have that opinion taken into account in any matter affecting the child.
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion: The state shall respect the child’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, subject to appropriate parental guidance.
Sexual exploitation: The state shall protect the child from sexual exploitation and abuse, including prostitution and involvement in pornography.
Disabled children: A disabled child has the right to special treatment, education and care.
Education: Primary education shall be free and compulsory as early as possible. Education should prepare the child for life, in a spirit of understanding, peace and tolerance. Disciplinary measures should be administered in ways which respect the child’s dignity.
Child Labour: The child has the right to be protected from economic exploitation and work that may interfere with education or be harmful to health and well-being.
Health: The child is entitled to the highest attainable standard of health. States shall ensure that health care is provided to all children, placing emphasis on preventive measures, health education and reduction of infant mortality.
Protection from abuse and neglect: The state shall protect the child from all forms of maltreatment by parents or others responsible for the care of the child.
Drug abuse: Children have the right to protection from the illegal use of drugs and involvement in drug production or trafficking
Every citizen can and should contribute to the
Join the Coalition and start a chapter in your community to work along with local child development organisations.
Urge your elected officials to speak up about the rights of Jamaican children and lobby them to change outdated laws which infringe on the rights of Jamaican children.
Encourage community leaders - ministers of religion, school principals, members of professional associations, service club leaders, youth groups, voluntary agencies, foundations, parents and teachers associations - to learn more about the rights of children and speak up about them in public fora.
Bring violations of the rights of children to public attention.
Ensure that you do not violate the rights of your own child or the children in your care.
Jamaica Coalition on the
Rights of the Child
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
The Jamaica Coalition on The Rights of the Child
2b Camp Road, Tel: 926-8696 or any of our member organisations.
Produced By: Communication Services Ltd. 63 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 10. Ja., W. I.