Bullying or peer abuse is a disturbing phenomenon in Jamaica and globally. Members of the Child Development Agency’s (CDA) Children’s Advisory Panel (CAP) will tackle this and other issues such as violence against children and values and attitudes when they host their second annual National Children’s Summit at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Tuesday August 25, 2015.
The Summit which is being held under the theme: “Creating Opportunities to Develop Tomorrow’s Leaders Today” will see the participation some 700 children from schools, State care, the juvenile justice system, students councils, and the CDA’s Children’s Advisory Panel of the CDA, as well as the Office of the Children’s Registry’s Child Ambassadors participating.
Other issues to be addressed in the one-day Summit include violence against children; values and attitudes; child rights and responsibilities, and transitioning from State care.
Chairperson of the CDA’s CAP, Meca-Gaye Francis, said that the members of the Panel continue to be concerned about the level of violence against children in the society, and equally disturbed about the fact that children are also playing out this violence against each other.
“We feel that it is important as a body to discuss this issue of violence and bullying during the Summit. Though not all bullying is violent, this, this problem has physical and psychological manifestations which are damaging to children.
“All of us are studentsare students and live in communities, and so we do come across children being bullied by others;, and some persons have experienced it firsthand.” Miss Francis said.
Miss Francis explained that one of the highlights during the session on bullying is the official release and formal discussion on the Bullying Study which was commissioned by the CDA with financial and technical support from UNICEF.
“This is a very important study as it has gone in depth to provide a better understanding of the prevalence of bullying in Jamaica and its impact on our young people. With this information, we as a panel will be better able to advise the CDA management on this matter, and during the Summit we will come up with a practical strategy to address some of the issues highlighted in the study,” the CAP Chairperson said.
Miss Francis explained that though the conference is open to the 700 select child delegates, members of the public including other children, can tune in to the live streaming on social media–— on the CDA’s website (www.cda.gov.jm) or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CDA .
The online audience will be able to interact with the delegates and ask questions, as well as win exciting prizes for participating online leading up to, and during the live stream.
The CDA Children’s Advisory Panel was established in 2012 to provide child-friendly advice to the Agency’s Executive Management Team. The Panel comprises 15 members below the age of 18.
Contact: CDA PR Unit