KINGSTON, Jamaica, October 24, 2018 (CMC) – National Security Minister, Dr. Horace Chang, yesterday, said the recent cruel and brutal attacks on children are “shameful and un-Jamaican”, as he joined the country in condemning the murder of a 14-year-old school child, whose body was found on Sunday, three days after she had been reported missing.
“We are concerned about the attacks on our children and young girls, in particular. The heinous, barbaric nature of the crimes are appalling and reflect concerning lows in our society’s conscience,” Chang said in a statement.
The authorities said that the mutilated body of 14-year-old Raven Wilson, a third form student of Ocho Rios High School in St. Ann, was found in a plastic bag, metres away from her home, on Sunday.
Chang said he would be engaging the police high command, on the way forward, to address this disturbing trend.
“We must take steps to ensure that these perpetrators understand that they will be pursued, and tried, to the full extent of the law”.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, condemned the murder as “cruel, inhumane and barbaric”.
“I am seriously disturbed by the killing of yet another promising young girl, whose life was cut short by cold and heartless criminals. There is simply no justification for such cruelty against our children. The level of violence, being meted out against them, needs to stop, because it is robbing them of their right to life,” he added.
The human rights group, Hear The Children’s Cry, is calling for the prosecution of persons involved in carrying out criminal acts on children.
In a statement condemning the murder of Wilson, the group said “we have not even gone 10 months of the year and nearly 40 children have already been murdered during 2018. That is double the usual gruesome annual statistic”.
“The truth is, children in Jamaica are at terrible peril and are at the mercy of vicious criminals, on a daily basis. They are not safe in their homes, they are not safe at school, they are in danger in their communities and on the roads, they are at horrible risk on public transportation, not to mention being vulnerable targets of paedophiles when they are online,” said the organisation’s founder, Betty Ann Blaine.
She repeated an earlier call for the government to convene an Emergency Child Summit to devise a plan to protect the nation’s children.
Chang said he would continue to liaise with communities and social agencies to devise additional strategies to protect the nation’s children.
He said the Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will also be asked to extend its presence in these communities to thwart violent acts against children.