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PM Hails Grand Palladium For Joining Global Campaign To Protect Children

PM Hails Grand Palladium For Joining Global Campaign To Protect Children
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (centre), shares a moment with General Manager of the Grand Palladium resort, Jose Morgan (left); Children’s Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison; and Aaliayah Martinez (front, right) and Kiara Wilks. Occasion was the launch of the hotel’s participation in the global initiative the End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT), at the Hanover-based resort on Saturday, November 7. Mrs. Simpson Miller was the guest speaker at the launch.

KINGSTON (JIS) -- The participation of the Grand Palladium resort in the global initiative to protect children against commercial sex exploitation has received the full support and commendation of Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller. She has hailed the move as a bold step in keeping children safe and safeguarding the country’s future. The Prime Minister was addressing the official launch of the campaign to End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT), during a ceremony held at the hotel’s Hanover location on Saturday, November 7.

ECPAT is a global network of civil society organisations dedicated to ensuring that children everywhere enjoy their fundamental right to be free and secure from all forms of commercial sexual exploitation.

Grand Palladium will be placing focus on protecting children in the hospitality sector.

The Prime Minister, in congratulating the management and staff of the 1,056-room resort, said children are special gifts from God and should be valued and protected.

“They are the future leaders of our country and we have a responsibility to see to their care and protection. That is why I am pleased to see resorts such as Grand Palladium working together with other organisations around the world to eliminate child prostitution and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes,” she said.

She noted that it will take the effort of all stakeholders, working together, to protect the children from all forms of abuse and sexual exploitation.

“We must all work together as Government, as private sector and civil society to protect our children…they must be allowed to live their childhood years, they must be allowed to fulfil their greatest potential,” she added.

Human Resources Director at the Grand Palladium, Sheryl Wilks, informed that all 1,400 employees at the resort will be trained to identify child abuse and commercial sex exploitation and will be guided on the reporting procedures to eradicate the practice of child-sex tourism.

She said that partners within the Grand Palladium network, to include suppliers and customers, will be made aware of the company’s stance on the issue and will be asked to join the initiative.

“We will communicate information…to heighten awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation and abuse that children suffer,” she pointed out.

Mrs. Wilks said protecting children from sexual exploitation takes a global effort and called on Jamaicans to join the move “to protect our children, to develop our people, to build a better nation and to secure our future.”

“As we focus on our human capital, we must ensure the development and protection of our children. It is easier to build a child, than to repair a man. The children today will rule the world tomorrow; please, don’t let them hurt our children. All children have the right to live free from all forms of exploitation,” Mrs. Wilks said.

Grand Palladium is receiving assistance from the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in the ECPAT campaign.

The ECPAT international network consists of a Secretariat and 80 member organisations in 74 countries.