Have you or anyone you know had any struggles growing up as a child whether its child labor, financial distress, emotional and physical abuse, sexual violence as well as lack of proper parenting? If you can relate directly or indirectly to those and of course a few others not listed, then you know what living as an impoverished Jamaican is like. I know you might say but rich Jamaican children experience those situations too ! You are right but not as much as the less fortunate.
According to SOS Children Village 15% of Jamaican children lives in crippling poverty, more than 73000 children in Jamaica today are orphans, 60% of Jamaican children between ages nine and 17 has a family member who was killed, 6% of Jamaican children are involved in child labor activities. Children in Kingston areas are mostly affected by child labor; for some households that are affected it may seem as though childhood is like a Luxury Chanel Bag that families can’t afford. So this is where the increased rape cases comes in affecting mostly young females . Theses females are forced to beg or exchange sex for money in order to survive. Children are often times seen selling merchandise especially boys-washing windshields, selling fruits or juice, some learning to be a part of a robbery or a gang at a tender age.
For an island as beautiful and rich in history as Jamaica it is embarrassing to see these statistics. The speading of HIV is getting rampant, little boys are now sex targets by other men who offer money and cars in exchange for sex. These realities are difficult to absorb. I am urging the government of Jamaica to stop being so reluctant in instilling rigid child protection laws. These child abusers walk away too freely! The initiative should be taken to promote positive and engaging children protective programs in the communities. Our country need our youths.