Victim Services Division Gets UNDP Support for its Work with Children

Jan 25, 2016

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer (centre) and Director of the Victim Services Division, Osbourne Bailey (right), along with UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Bruno Pouezat (left) look at some of the toys provided to the Victim Services Division by UNDP under the Commission of Enquiry Project. Photo Credit: UNDP Jamaica

According to statistics from Jamaica’s Victim Services Division – an arm of the Ministry of Justice – more than 60 percent of the more than 5000 citizens it served last year were children.

The Division, which works to facilitate healing and therapeutic interventions for victims of crime in its fourteen offices across the island, received a resource package of toys from UNDP to support its activities with young victims on 25 January 2016.

These toys will help staff and volunteers of the Division provide psychosocial support to the children they work with. UNDP’s support was provided under the Commission of Enquiry project which specifically supports the work of the Division in West Kingston, to assist residents of that area as they prepare to testify at the Commission and generally as they recover from the psychological effects of the events of May 2010.

At the handover, which took place at the Ministry of Justice’s offices, Permanent Secretary Carol Palmer pointed out that the Ministry of Justice was appreciative of partnerships with its international development partners which help it provide necessary services for citizens. She also noted that the Victim Services Division has been on the ground in West Kingston since 2010, working to engage and support residents.

“This partnership therefore supports the invaluable work being done by the Victim Services Division as it works to create as normal an environment as possible for the children it works with.”

In thanking UNDP for the donation, Mr. Osbourne Bailey, Director of the Victim Support Division, spoke of the long term effects of violence and trauma on individuals, especially children.

“Trauma is invisible. It is long term and it is not easily mended. These toys are actually tools to be utilised in delivering psychological support to the young victims. They will help in the healing process,” Mr. Bailey stated.

UNDP Resident Representative Bruno Pouezat echoed Mr. Bailey’s sentiments and expressed UNDP’s commitment to working with the Justice Ministry to support good governance and the protection of the rights of citizens who are victims of violence.

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