Friday 20 September, 2019

Worrying trends for children in Jamaica - UNICEF sounds alarm

Connolly... UNICEF Jamaica is particularly alarmed by the number of Jamaican children who die violently. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

Connolly... UNICEF Jamaica is particularly alarmed by the number of Jamaican children who die violently. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

Jamaica’s children are increasingly being abused sexually and violently, according to reports released Wednesday by UNICEF Jamaica at the regional headquarters of the University of the West Indies in Kingston.

Three reports were released at the same time, which showed alarming figures of incidents of sexual and violent abuse against the island’s children.

The reports were UNICEF's, "A Familiar Face: Violence in the Lives of Children and Adolescents"; UWI’s, "Ending Violence in Childhood"; and an update on the 2016 data on children and violence by the Ministry of National Security.

The UNICEF’s report indicates that in Jamaica, eight out of every 10 children between the ages of 2 - 14 experience some form of violent discipline.

It also states that, among 10-15 year olds, 24 per cent of girls were forced to have sex on their first sexual encounter.

It also used police statistics to indicate that between January and October, 47 children were murdered, which breaks down to 29 males and 18 females. During the same period last year, 26 males and six females were murdered.

The number of children killed during that period is already more than the 41 (33 males and eight females) children killed last year.

The UNICEF report also shows that children are also experiencing violence at school, with six in 10 students being bullied during the days.

Speaking at the launch, UNICEF Jamaica representative Mark Connolly said the new reports indicate deeply worrying concerns for children in Jamaica.

He said, “UNICEF Jamaica is particularly alarmed by the number of Jamaican children who die violently, and are regularly subjected to sexual violence and violent discipline in their homes, schools and communities.”

See photos from the launch in the slider below.

Unicef Jamaica Child Abuse Report

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