Speaking at the virtual United Nations Development Programme Youth Summit on crime and violence, in observance of World Peace Day, on Tuesday, September 21, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Robert Morgan, says the Government is working on various policies and programmes to limit the number of youth becoming involved in crime and violence.

Minister Morgan noted that the Ministry is currently in the process of submitting a revision to the Child Care and Protection Act, regarding the enumeration of the rights of children to Cabinet. He added that the Ministry is working to abolish Section 24 of the Act, which “gives judges the discretion to incarcerate youth without charge”.

Minister Morgan says the Government has made great improvements through child play and other tools to prevent youth who have not been convicted of a crime from going to prison or remand\ juvenile center. he however notes that incidents such as this are still taking place in our society.

“The reasons why I choose to enumerate some of these reforms, and we have more that we could enumerate, is the recognition that the challenged youth did not begin to become challenged when he reached a particular age but the foundation of the family, the foundation of the educational institutions and the community have a significant impact on the outcomes of our children,” he said.

The Minister also revealed that the Ministry is soon to launch a group parenting campaign, which aims to promote and build strong family foundations to helps the nation’s youth. He noted that corporal punishment will not be supported by the current Administration.

“It is the intention of this Administration to ban corporal punishment, but before that, we need to educate our population. We’ve already banned corporal punishment in our public institutions, and the next step is to ban corporal punishment nationally,” he noted.

The Minister notes that the public will have access to the new 2-1-1 hotline, which will replace the 888-PROTECT hotline to report child abuse and neglect. It is the first 24-hour hotline of its kind.