Cabinet approves strategy to protect children online

KINGSTON, Jamaica— The proposed establishment of a National Child Online Protection Committee has been approved by Cabinet as per the proposed terms of reference.

Education, Youth and Information Minister, Fayval Williams, who made the announcement during the virtual post Cabinet press briefing on Wednesday, said the National Child Online Protection Strategy was also approved by Cabinet.

The minister said the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of online learning as a key component of the delivery of educational services in Jamaica.

However, Williams said the tremendous benefits of technology and the use of information and communications technology (ICT) online platforms present significant challenges to the safety of children in the virtual environment, given the variations and hazards of the virtual space.

“It has become critical for children to access the tools which would guarantee their safety as they thrive in this digital age,” she said.

Cabinet also gave approval for the Minister of Education, Youth and Information to name a chair for the National Child Online Protection Committee and for the Committee’s mandate in relation to the development of a National Child Online Protection Strategy.

In addition, Williams said, Cabinet also gave approval for the development of a National Sourcing Policy (NSP) and the establishment of a Policy Steering Committee to drive the Policy’s development.

“Foreign direct investment (FDI) has played an important role in the economic development of Jamaica, but the impact varies across the sectors and there is a need to improve the multiplier effect in terms of improved living standards and sustainable development,” she noted.

Williams noted that the NSP seeks to bolster the operations through the development of commercial partnerships and improved linkages between micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and companies investing in Jamaica.

“The National Sourcing Policy would advance the creation of an enabling environment to strengthen and sustain the nation’s economic growth and development through strategic and focused initiatives that encouraged and incentivised the use of local inputs in key domestic industries,” she emphasised.

The policy seeks to establish a Government of Jamaica policy position that supports the inclusion of sectors that could exponentially contribute to the wider economy. 

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