Amid a spate of violent attacks and sexual abuse of young children, the nation’s top prosecutor Paula Llewellyn has challenged the police to use the Child Care and Protection Act to go after parents and caregivers who fail to report incidents involving children under their care.
The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse has long indicated that in most instances where young girls fall victims to rape and other sex-related offences, the perpetrators are relatives or close family friends.
As Jamaica celebrates Child Month, Llewellyn, the director of public prosecutions (DPP), suggested yesterday that the police begin strict enforcement of the law.
“If your 14-year-old or your 13-year-old is pregnant, how can you say that you are not aware that your child was molested?” she asked.
“This thing where we give everybody a bly because people feel sorry for them, … they must be prosecuted – the parents and the caregivers,” she declared.
“And also, for those caregivers and parents who leave one child to look after another child and then you have the place burning down and the children perish, … the police must enforce the law, and where they have the evidence, prosecute them for breaching the Child Care and Protection Act,” she added.