Bridgetown, Barbados, 15 May, 2023 (PAHO/WHO) The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children with support from Together for Girls and the US Centers for Disease Control welcomed government representatives across multiple sectors and from different Caribbean countries to a virtual workshop on INSPIRE: Seven strategies to prevent violence against children and adolescents in the Caribbean. The workshop was aimed at addressing the urgent need to prevent violence against children and adolescents in the region through multi-sector and multi-stakeholder interventions that are backed by the evidence of what works.
“We find several Caribbean countries among the top 10 countries with the highest homicide rates [for those under 18 years old]” said Director for PAHO’s Caribbean Subregional Office, Mr. Dean Chambliss, who brought welcome remarks at the workshop. “This alone makes preventing violence against children and adolescents, including homicide, urgent priorities for action across the Caribbean” Mr. Chambliss emphasized.
INSPIRE is a multiagency and multisector technical package of evidence–informed interventions, that have the greatest potential to reduce violence against children and adolescents. PAHO is proud to be one of the co-authors of INSPIRE and stresses the importance of adopting an evidence-based approach, which is at the heart of INSPIRE and core to PAHO’s mandate.
The Regional Director of UNICEF for Latin America and the Caribbean, Dr. Gary Conille, expressed his pleasure at the high turnout and engagement at the INSPIRE workshop. He reiterated that ending violence against children is a priority for UNICEF and stressed his commitment to work with countries and partners on reversing the figures found in the Region. Available data show that nearly two-thirds of children aged 1 to 14 in Latin America and the Caribbean experience violent discipline at home, with levels exceeding 80 percent in Haiti, Jamaica, and Suriname.
“INSPIRE is a great tool to help us, but still, we have a lot of work ahead” Mr. Conille said. “Let’s use the 7 INSPIRE strategies, let’s share our knowledge, our experiences, our evaluated programs. Let’s keep working together. And remember, violence is preventable, so let’s stop violence against children and adolescents,” he stated.
The workshop is part of a series of virtual events aimed at building capacity among government sectors, civil society and other partners on INSPIRE strategies to end violence against children and adolescents. This session focused on three essential INSPIRE strategies: Norms and Values, Safe Environments, and Parent and Caregiver Support. It also included a case study from Belize, which highlighted successful Parent and Caregiver Support interventions and real-life experiences. The next workshop is scheduled for May 24th and will cover three additional INSPIRE strategies.
Register for the upcoming INSPIRE event, 24 May 2023, 11 am (Barbados time) & 10 am (Jamaica time). The focus will be three INSPIRE strategies (Response and support services, Education and Economic strengthening).