#TurksandCaicos, November 22, 2022 – The Department of Social Development and Welfare, Ministry of Home Affairs, Public Utilities and Communication, in its continuous mandate to protect and promote the rights of all children, joins the rest of the world in celebrating Universal Children’s Day, also recognized as World Day of Prayer and Action for Children (WDPAC) under the theme “A Better Future for Every Child”, with a focus on the four umbrella principles of the convention on the rights of the child:
- Best Interest of the Child
- Right to life, survival & development and
- Respect for the Views of Children.
November 20, 2022 will globally mark the 32nd anniversary of the most widely sanctioned human rights treaty in history, Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC is the first binding agreement, that 194 Country world leaders pledged a commitment to fulfill the civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of children and adolescents. As a result of the Convention, children now have a distinct set of rights regardless of race, color, sex, creed or other status.
The Turks and Caicos Islands in its continuous commitment to protecting the rights of children has helped transform the lives of children throughout the islands. A significant number of laws and regulations have been passed to protect, support and improve the status of children and their families.
In support of A Better Future for Every Child, it is important that the movers, shakers and change makers of our nations, set precedence and become cognizant of the opportunities to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights. Its then and only then that our people will recognize the grave significances and the inevitability of embracing children’s rights for a better tomorrow.
As we ponder on what a ‘Better Future for Every Child ’looks like in the TCI, let us focus on a world where every child is not only enrolled in school, but there is an inclusive education system at all levels. Let’s focus on a world where every child is safe from harm, a future where mental health matters, where bedside registration is a reality and in progress and not still lingering in the air. A world where there are no stateless children because every child is given an identity. A world where children are empowered to think beyond their limitations and given a fair opportunity to reach their full potentials and enjoy an adequate standard of living. A world free from stigmatization and open to seeing children as children regardless of nationality, socio economic status and bloodline.
Children are our most valuable assets and as such, every child deserves to thrive and survive in our beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands. As we move forward in our continuous fight for children’s rights, let us remember that every child deserves an adult champion, who are agents of change, who are willing to fight in their corner. Let’s us remain mindful as a nation, that children are observing and modelling the adults in their lives and taking the lead from them. Turks and Caicos for a Better Future for Every Child, let us become the change that we want to see.
The Children Are Our Future, Let Us Care for Them Today. Happy Universal Children’s Day!
Activities in commemoration of Universal Children’s Day:
- Churches will incorporate the theme into their services and prayer groups
- Social Workers to visit the various schools on island to provide education on the four umbrella principles of the convention on the rights of the child.
- Various school on island to host a fun day in observance of Universal Children’s Day 2022, where teachers are expected to interchange their roles by dressing ‘kiddie like/ playful/ whimsical, and hosting a free entertaining, hilarious, upbeat, colourful concert with ‘out of this mind performances’ by teachers and staff for their students.
- The Department of Social Development and Welfare will surprise a few schools across the islands with goodies to enhance the day.
Mobile App brings unprecedented access & opportunity to Persons with Disabilities in The Bahamas
#TheBahamas, December 8, 2022 – Opportunities and services previously out of reach for many Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s) in The Bahamas are now easier to access with groundbreaking upgrades to the ‘AccessAbility’ mobile app innovated by the National Commission of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), through a Bahamian APP developer.
As of January 2023, PWD’s registered on the App will be able to book accessible transportation, allowing unprecedented freedom of movement.
For now, services available on the App include free interpreter services for the deaf and hard of hearing; disaster alerts from NEMA; free registration with NCPD which includes mapped location of registered PWD’s in times of disaster; complaints mechanism; bus routes showing street by street movement ; request for adaptive equipment and other services; business directory for organizations compliant with the Disabilities Act; Career/job listings; as well as trending local and international news and resources.
Financing for the App and the related public education programme was contributed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Multi Country Office located in Jamaica which serves The Bahamas among five English-speaking countries in the northern Caribbean. The App is available for free download from Google Play and the App Store and is also preloaded on all new devices purchased from local telecommunications provider Aliv in partnership with NCPD.
At the launch event on Sunday (4 December), Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Philip Davis said that The Bahamas aimed to achieve inclusion and accessibility on a level playing field for persons with disabilities and that the App was one of the means through which this could be achieved. He lauded the services provided through the app and highlighted the accessible transportation, one touch access to emergency services and sign language interpretation.
The Prime Minister announced that the Department of Labour will enable job listings in the AccessAbility app, and further reminded employers of provisions in the Disability Act for the employment of one person with a disability for every 100 employees. “I am asking corporate Bahamas to join the Government in recognizing the potential in persons with disabilities and providing employment opportunities that may never have been considered before,” he said.
Other major disclosures made by the Prime Minister included The Bahamas’ ratification of ILO Convention 159 establishing the right of PWD to vocational rehabilitation and employment opportunities, and the successful implementation of the Nassau Airports Development’s Sunflower Laynard programme offering empathetic and specialized service to travelling PWD’s
Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, said exclusion of PWD’s over the years has been troubling, but the mobile app will help bring the community closer to realizing inclusion and becoming part of the normalcy of the country. “We are elated and moved. PWD’s are celebrating because we have come a long way and UNDP is helping to make a difference” Minister Wilchcombe stated.
UNDP Resident Representative Denise E Antonio said recognizing that Disability Inclusion is a development issue requires continued attention and investment, UNDP supported the Government’s mission to expand digital inclusion to marginalized groups through the Digital Access for All (DAFA) Bahamas Project, specifically focusing on the AccessAbility Mobile App and public education.
She reiterated UNDP’s commitment to improving ICT infrastructure and digital access with and for PWD’s in The Bahamas; advancing gender equality and the empowerment of PWD’s in The Bahamas and forging partnerships to identify challenges and potential solutions to reduce inequalities against Persons with Disabilities. “It is crucial for governments, public and private sectors, to collaboratively find innovative solutions with and for persons with disabilities, to make the world a more accessible and equitable place,” the Resident Representative noted.
She encouraged Persons with Disabilities to register with the NCPD through the App to ensure they benefit from a wide array of services.
The launch of the AccessAbility mobile app will be immediately followed by a multimedia public education campaign to encourage awareness, downloads, and usage among PWDs.
Technology and digitalization are considered enablers in UNDP’s global service offer of six signature solutions focusing on leaving no one behind. To this end, UNDP partners with countries to develop appropriate digital solutions which help advance poverty eradication, inclusion, equality and crisis resilience. UNDP Multi Country Office in Jamaica serves Jamaica, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Tropical Storm Owen in December?
By Shanieka Smith
December 8, 2022 – A low-pressure system observed in the Central Atlantic Ocean has led the National Hurricane Center to believe there is a 50 per cent chance a subtropical or tropical storm will develop. They reported on Tuesday, the system was 800 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands.
NHC said that by Thursday or Friday, the system should move northeastward, where it will interact with a mid-latitude trough, thereby limiting the chances of development.
The potential subtropical or tropical storm would become the 15th named storm of 2022 and will be called Owen.
Here is the very latest forecast:
Central Subtropical Atlantic
Showers and thunderstorms have increased since last evening near a
subtropical Atlantic about 850 miles east-southeast of Bermuda.
However, the system remains embedded within a frontal zone, which is
expected to become more pronounced later today as the low begins to
move east-northeastward at 20 to 25 mph toward colder waters and
interact with a mid-latitude trough. Therefore, while the system
could show some subtropical characteristics today, its chances to
fully transition to a subtropical or tropical cyclone appear to be
decreasing. Nevertheless, significant non-tropical development of
this low is expected during the next couple of days, and additional
information, including hurricane-force wind warnings, can be found
in High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service. The
next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this system will be issued
by 9 AM EST Thursday.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…30 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days…low…30 percent.
Photo Credit: ACCUWEATHER
Jamaica’s PM Andrew Holness goes to Washington to discuss matters to help with crime
By Shanieka Smith
#Jamaica, December 8, 2022 – The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, travelled to Washington on Tuesday to discuss security matters with various US State Agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department.
Holness said the aim of the meetings is to cut ties between local and overseas criminals and in turn strengthen the country’s crime-fighting efforts.
“I’m serious. If you are overseas and you are sponsoring, directing, and soliciting; if you are financing crime in Jamaica we’re going to get you,” he said.
In a press briefing in early November, the prime minister announced that a State of Emergency (SOE) was issued in seven parishes across the island. Meanwhile, Opposition Leader, Mark Golding has requested that the SOE be extended through to January 14, 2023.
However, a recommendation was made by the non-governmental human rights and justice organization Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) to reject Golding’s extension request.
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