From left, Grace Anne Stewart McFarlane, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice; Lt. Col. Garfield Green, Custos of Manchester; Rhoda Moy Crawford, member of parliament for Manchester Central; Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck; U.S. Embassy Kingston Chargé d’Affaires Amy Tachco; Aylair Livingstone, Country Project Director, Warnath Group; Audrey Budhi, Manager of the Trafficking in Persons Secretariat in the Ministry of National Security; and Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison participate in the blue-ribbon cutting ceremony at the new child-friendly space.
Warnath Group launched its fifth child-friendly space, along with the Jamaican and U.S. Governments, on August 19, 2023. This space, located at the Victim Services Division (VSD) of the Jamaican Ministry of Justice, will help child crime victims and their families by providing a comfortable space for therapeutic services, referrals, and preparing vulnerable children for the experience of testifying in court.
What makes this child-friendly space special?
- VSD is trained to address child trafficking: Prior to the space’s completion, Warnath Group trained VSD staff in identifying and assisting child trafficking victims. To ensure sustainability and that this training will live on for years to come, Warnath Group established an online course with the Ministry of Justice’s training institute. In addition, with a focused eye on sustainability, Warnath Group released a practical recommendations guide for child protection professionals in Jamaica. The recommendations assist officials in interacting positively with children under 18 using a child-sensitive, victim-centered approach and trauma-informed techniques, grounded in Jamaican and international good practices.
- The child-friendly space is interdisciplinary and encourages a collaborative approach to justice. The space is located right next to an office of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), a Jamaican law enforcement unit dedicated to investigating sexual crimes and crimes against children. VSD is encouraging the police to use the space for interviewing children and achieving best evidence.
- The space is a symbol of U.S. – Jamaica friendship. The space was established with tireless and dedicated Jamaican VSD professionals along with U.S. officials and Warnath Group, reflecting the strength of U.S.-Jamaica partnership. It was launched as part of the U.S. – Jamaica Child Protection Compact, an initiative of both governments to address child trafficking in Jamaica.