JFJ Reports To The Inter-American Commission Of Human Relations On Care Of Children In Jamaica

On October 20, 2006, Dr. Carolyn Gomes, Executive Director of Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), presented a report to the Inter American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, D.C. about issues facing children under the care of the Jamaican state in Children’s Homes.

The report described problems found in the current monitoring system for Children’s Homes based on information gleaned from Access To Information data. Jamaicans for Justice is deeply concerned that 2 years after the Keating Report the Government’s efforts to change the situation for children within the Children?s Homes have resulted in little more than administrative review, and that great improvement is urgently needed to better the lives of the children under the state’s care. JFJ believes that the main issue is to bring about real change and improvement in the quality of life for these children. The various problems that still plague these homes are manifestations of a deeper, rooted problem of negligence to the concerns of these children.It is imperative that the recommendations offered in this report be established and enacted for the main goal of securing a better future for the children of Jamaica.

In June 2003, JFJ presented a report to IACHR detailing facts of child abuse of children under the care of the State. This report became the basis for requests for Precautionary measures as well as the basis for future, follow-up reports. JFJ has done both on the ground investigation of the situation of children under the care of the State, as well as analysis of monitoring reports. For 2005-2006, JFJ conducted an evaluation of monthly monitoring reports for Children?s Homes across the island.