Human Rights advocate urges that details of safety arrangements at children's homes be made public

Susan Goffe


Human Rights Advocate Susan Goffe is urging that details of a review of safety arrangements at children's homes and places of safety be made public.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness requested the review following last year's fire at Walker's Place of Safety on Lyndhurst Crescent, St. Andrew which left two female wards dead.

Ms Goffe's call comes in the wake of Friday's blaze at Jamaica National Children's Home in Papine, St. Andrew. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Ms Goffe spoke with RJR News on Monday, suggesting that there could be problems regarding fire safety at child care facilities. Accordingly, she said it was necessary that the results of the review be made public.

“We need to be assured that all the facilities were inspected; we need to know what the results of those inspections were; we need to know what the recommendations were, and we need to know what implementation has occurred since those recommendations were made,” she asserted.

Furthermore, she stressed that it was crucial to be assured “that all facilities that house children are up to the fire code standard.”

Ms Goffe also wants the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) to state whether children's homes are compliant.

In 2009, seven young girls died at the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Facility in St. Ann.

In 2015, fire destroyed the Wortley Home for Girls on Constant Spring Road in St. Andrew and two years later, the Clifton Boys' Home in Darliston, Westmoreland was also destroyed by fire.



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