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Jamaica: Punish errant parents

Parents forcing their children into the sex trade and car glass wiping for economic benefits, are flirting with having their parental rights removed, state minister in the ministry of education, youth and information, Robert Morgan is warning.

Frustrated by the state of affairs he has encountered since taking office six months ago, Morgan said a recent audit by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) has revealed that the majority of young men tagged ‘street children’ actually have homes.

“One of things we notice when we take the kids off the streets, and they go before the courts, the parents come and demonstrate their ability to take care and the CPFSA says okay we will work with the parents, and we start investing the infrastructure in the homes, they send back out the children a month later, because they are using these kids as an economic benefit,” Morgan told journalists at a quarterly virtual press briefing last Thursday.

The situation forced Morgan to point out that what this did was to bring the consideration of parental rights, a question that he did not wish to answer then, but it was a question, that the Jamaican society would have to answer. “Do we need to look at a regime or a process where we start removing parental rights from some of these parents, who consistently demonstrate behaviour that puts our children in peril?” he asked.

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