The Embassy of the United States of America in Kingston announces the opening of two new child-friendly spaces as the U.S.-Jamaica Child Protection Compact Partnership concludes its fifth and final year.
As part of the U.S.-Jamaica Child Protection Compact, Ambassador N. Nick Perry in conjunction with the Jamaican government and in partnership with Warnath Group, launched the final two Child Friendly Spaces this week: one space with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for their anti-trafficking unit and two spaces with the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) at the Glenhope Place of Safety and the National Children’s Registry. These safe spaces are designed for child victims of trafficking or other serious crime situations to be examined, interviewed, and cared for in a trauma-informed and age-appropriate manner.
Implementing partner Warnath Group has worked closely with the CPFSA to renovate and equip both new locations. The Glenhope Place of Safety provides children up to age 18 with counseling and other services while the National Children’s Registry (NCR) receives reports of crimes against children. Both locations will encounter children exploited by human traffickers and support children who have experienced crime. The NCR is integral in identifying potential victims especially through the National Hotline (211). Individuals can report over the phone or can come directly to the office, where the child friendly space will be used to talk with the children during their initial intake.
The final space, which will be launched in January 2024, will be the second child friendly space opened with the Jamaica Constabulary Force with the first being launched in March 2022 based out of the Falmouth Police Station in Jamaica’s Trelawny Parish. This new location in Kingston will be utilized by the anti-trafficking unit under the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation (C-TOC) branch. The space will allow investigators to interview and support children in a safe and child friendly location, providing victim testimony needed to support an effective and victim-centered investigation.
These child friendly spaces, along with previously launched spaces with the Ministry of Justice’s Victim Service Division, the Centre for Investigations of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), and the Ministry of Health and Wellness, were all established as part of the United States-Jamaica Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership which began in May 2018. Under the partnership, Warnath Group has worked diligently to support the Government of Jamaica to open multiple spaces for child victims as well as provide the advanced trainings, tools, and skills needed for investigators to best use the spaces while working with child victims.
The completion of these locations are tangible results of the commitment of both governments to support child victims of trafficking. As part of this commitment, the United States has provided nearly $6.7 million in foreign assistance, and Jamaican ministries, departments and agencies have invested resources and personnel toward the goals and objectives of the CPC Partnership.