Joint Press Release: CHILD RIGHTS ADVOCATES WELCOME REMOVAL FROM HORIZON REMAND, CALL FOR “DE-GAZETTING” OF HORIZON

CHILD RIGHTS ADVOCATES WELCOME REMOVAL FROM HORIZON REMAND, CALL FOR “DE-GAZETTING” OF HORIZON

Monday, July 8, 2013, Kingston, Jamaica – Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ) and the Lift Up Not Lock up campaign welcomes the news from Minister Peter Bunting and Commissioner Jevene Bent that all girls have been removed from Horizon Adult Remand Centre and his commitment that the inhumane practice will not happen again.

This announcement is a very important development. However, it raises questions that need to be answered and further action that needs to be taken:
i) Where have the girls been moved to?
ii) Have any of them been placed in Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre?
iii) Have the necessary provisions been made for continued support of all the children?

We raise these questions against the background of the Armadale tragedy, and the fact that many of the girls who were subsequently released from State care did not receive the level of support they deserved. The responsibility of the State to provide this care does not cease because the girls at Horizon are in another facility or are no longer institutionalized.

JFJ and the Lift Up Not Lock Up campaign are calling on Minister Bunting to use the powers assigned to him under Section 47 of the Corrections Act to remove Horizon Remand Centre from the list of correctional or remand centres authorized to house children.

JFJ and the Lift Up Not Lock Up campaign will continue its campaign to ensure that the State protects the rights of these children, who are among Jamaica’s most vulnerable children.