The programme, which has been launched in the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and South Korea, is now collaborating with Jamaica. It was the first Caribbean country to be a part of the programme.
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Emily Vacher, director of trust and safety for the network discussed the issues on May 16 during a special workshop dubbed ‘Investigative and Preventative Response to Missing Children: An Interactive Workshop for Law Enforcement’.
The workshop — hosted by Facebook and the local NGO, Hear the Children’s Cry and ICMEC — was focused on a variety of topics related to the investigation of missing children cases.
When missing children cases appear in the country, the social network will disseminate the case information in the news feed of people who use Facebook in Jamaica.
“We realise, however, that as time evolves, we have to adapt and create additional avenues through which people can spread the message of child protection,” Emily Vacher told media reporters.
“With Facebook, when there is a missing child in Jamaica, we get the information from the police or whichever agency is responsible for issuing the missing child alert. We would then disseminate the information in the news feed of people who use Facebook in Jamaica,” she added
Facebook will display a picture of the missing child, all the information about the case, and a link to whoever is managing the case.
“When the issue is given, the next time they check their news feed, what they will see is a picture of the missing child, all the information about the case, and a link to whoever is managing the case, so that the information is always up to date,” Emily Vacher told media reporters.
Emily Vacher also has urged local investigators not to forget the basics of including the community and people.
“This is just another tool in the investigators’ toolbox. The police still need to go into the neighbourhood, knock on every door and talk to the people,” she told the media.
To make the relevant connections, Jamaica preparing to implement policies in order to do the official launch later this year.
“The groundwork starts today. The plan is to make the relevant connections, see how best we can amend or implement policies in order to do the official launch later this year,” she said.
“Even if you are a visitor in the country, the mere fact that you use Facebook means that you, too, can assist in the process. It’s the police, it’s the social worker, it’s everybody coming together,” she declared.
Betty Ann Blaine, founder of Hear the Children’s Cry, said the collaboration is a step in the right direction, in a bid to curb the number of children who go missing every year.
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