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January 29, 2014
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Over 500 representaives to participate in youth forum

More than 500 representatives from several groups will participate in an all-day National Forum on youth violence prevention tomorrow at the Jamaica Conference Centre, beginning with registration at 7:30 a.m.

The groups, including Government, the private sector, churches, non-government organisations, social intervention groups, media, entertainment industry and academia will unite in a show of sloidarity in the fight against crime and violence under the Unite for Change programme.

Hosted by the Ministry of National Security, the forum has been planned to create awareness, build social capacity, share best practices and drive action by Jamaicans from all walks of life to take back Jamaica from the clutches of criminals.

"This forum is expected to be one of the biggest and most inclusive ever to be held on the island to look at violence prevention among the youth of this country. Although it is anchored by the Ministry of National Security, it is a collaborative movement spanning seven key ministries of government and stakeholders from the private sector, civil society and academia," said Peter Bunting, minister of National Security.

Five concurrent workshops are planned for the afternoon segment of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. Three of them will seek commitments on forging partnerships between key stakeholder groups, while the other two will focus on primary crime prevention in the family, school and community, as well as violence interruption and responses to trauma.

At the end of the forum, Bunting will present a Statement of Acton outlining areas for follow-up and the next steps towards realising the objectives of the Unite for Change programme, which aims to empower law-abiding citizens to work together to create a united front against crime.

As a build-up to the forum, the Ministry of National Security, in collaboration with church groups and social intervention organisations kicked off the Unite for Change movement in 24 communities across the island over the Christmas season.

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