Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 74


July 2007

JA-STYLE, or Jamaica’s Solution to Youth Lifestyle and

Empowerment, is a technical assistance programme to
support the Government of Jamaica’s Ministry of Health.
JA-STYLE is managed by University Research Co., LLC (URC)
in collaboration with Advocates for Youth, Health Strategies
International, LLC (HSI) and Population Media Center. The
programme is funded by the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID), under contract
No. 532-C-00-05-00029-00.

The authors’ views expressed in this publication do
not necessarily reflect the views of the United States
Agency for International Development or the United
States Government.

Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v Step 4: Forming Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Background to JA-STYLE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v Step 5: Forming Objectives. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Overview of the Advocacy Toolkit . . . . . . vi Step 6: Target Audience. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Step 7: Resources Needed
Section 1: for Advocacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Introduction to Advocacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Step 8: Responding to Opposition . . . . . . 15
What Is Advocacy? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Sources of Opposition . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Approaches to Advocacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Dealing with Opposition
Levels of Advocacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 and Criticism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Who Can Be an Advocate?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 The BE-attitudes for Advocacy . . . . . . . . . . 17
Why Be an Advocate?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Section 3:
Opportunities for Advocacy
Building Networks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
in Jamaica. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
How to Establish a Network. . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
The Roles of an Advocate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Guidelines for Effective Networks. . . . . . . 22
Section 2: Challenges to Building Networks . . . . . . . 23
Preparing for Advocacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Step 1: Self-Evaluation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Section 4:
Advocacy in Action. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Step 2: What Issues Should I Focus On?. . 8
What Is Advocacy in Action?. . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Direct Observation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Essential Advocacy Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Transect Walk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Educational and Promotional
Fishbone Diagram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Materials and Publications . . . . . . . . . 26
Problem Ranking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Briefing Note and Position Paper. . . 27
Tree Diagram. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Communicating with the Media. . . . 29
Step 3: Researching the Issue. . . . . . . . . . . 10
Press Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Preparing for an Interview. . . . . . . . . . 32

Conducting Peaceful Public The National Policy for HIV/AIDS
Demonstrations and Marches. . . . . . 34 Management in Schools, Adopted
by the Ministry of Education and
Edutainment: Using Drama
Youth (2001) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
to Advocate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Policy for the Management of
Candle Light Vigil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Substance Abuse in the
Balloon Parade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Education System. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
An Effigy Parade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against
Crack and Peel Stickers . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Women (CEDAW) Adopted by the UN
Documented Response. . . . . . . . . . . . 40 General Assembly in December 1979;
Signed by Jamaica in July 1980 and
Advo-Party or Session. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Ratified in October 1984. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Advocating through Sports . . . . . . . . 42
Convention on the Rights of the
Internet Advocacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Child (CRC), Ratified by Jamaica
in May 1991 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
When to Use Advocacy Tools . . . . . . . . . . . 44
International Conference on
Apply the Advocacy Tree Test. . . . . . 44
Population and Development
(ICPD), 1994. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Institutional & Legislative Policy The UN Standard Minimum Rules for
the Administration of Juvenile Justice
Frameworks for Jamaican Youth . . . . . . . . . . 45
(the Beijing Rules). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
The National Youth Policy (2004). . . . . . . . 46
The International Covenant on Civil
The Child Care and Protection and Political Rights (ICCPR), Signed by
Act (2004). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Jamaica in 1966 and Ratified in 1975. . . . 61
The Education Act (1980). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 The International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The Policy Guidelines for Health
(ICESCR), Ratified by Jamaica in 1975. . . . 62
Professionals Providing Contraceptives
to Persons under 16 Years, Adopted The Millennium Development Goals
by the Ministry of Health (2004). . . . . . . . 51 (MDGs), Adopted by the UN General
Assembly in 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Advocacy Toolkit iii


This publication is possible only because of the support and contribution

of committed individuals and organisations. USAID’s JA-STYLE project
would like to sincerely acknowledge the contribution of the many young
Jamaicans that provided input into this toolkit, in particular Andrew Francis,
Diego Morris, Joel Richards, Keesha Effs, the Youth Advisory Board (Chaired
by Kamar Brown), and the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network. We are grateful
for design and layout of this manual from University Research Co., LLC and
the financial support of US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Jamaica Mission.


he adolescents and youth of Jamaica
are capable of making greater
contribution to nation building through
processes. We hope this toolkit will empower
adolescents and youth to become more
proactive in demanding that their voices be
increased participation in the policy heard. Our desire is that youth advocates
decision-making processes of our country. who are called to serve will become better,
The drive to create a more democratic stronger, more strategic advocates, respected
and participatory society has opened the as equal stakeholders in policy decision-
door for increased opportunities for youth making environments.
participation. Though more opportunities
are being created for youth participation in
community and national life, as young people
we are sometimes not as equipped as we
Background to
could be to advocate on the behalf of our JA-STYLE
fellow youth. Increasingly, more organisations
and institutions are seeing us as legitimate JA-STYLE is a project funded by the U.S.
stakeholders in our own right. However, in Agency for International Development
some fora we are included primarily because (USAID) in collaboration with the Government
to do otherwise may be deemed politically of Jamaica’s Ministry of Health (MOH).
incorrect; we must make the best use of all JA-STYLE works island-wide to improve
these opportunities, whether we are brought the healthy lifestyles of young people by
to the table for a show or as equal partners addressing issues of reproductive health and
in the process; we must ‘rise to the occasion’, HIV/AIDS, as well as violence prevention and
because our actions or inactions could have substance abuse. The project’s main goals are
long-lasting effects. to expand access to youth-friendly services
and provide healthy lifestyles information,
This toolkit was prepared by youth advocates, strengthen non-governmental organisations’
for youth advocates. The main purpose behind ability to offer healthy lifestyles activities,
this youth-led document was to break the increase the community’s support to youth
cycle of ineffective youth advocacy in Jamaica. and adolescents, and support policies
We hope that through the this toolkit and its favouring young people. We also would
companion training manual, we will equip like to improve the knowledge, attitudes,
youth leaders and youth advocates with and skills of adolescents and caregivers of
advocacy skills that will place them on par adolescents related to healthy lifestyle and
with other stakeholders in decision-making appropriate sexual behaviour. To embrace

Advocacy Toolkit 
the spirit, essence, tenacity and resilience  Assess the level of participation of young
of adolescents, JA-STYLE works alongside people in policy development and
parents, teachers, church leaders and other implementation in Jamaica;
partners. These partnerships are built to
 Carry out training sessions and workshops
enhance opportunities for young people to
targeted towards improving the level and
establish their own identities, to build self-
skills of youth advocates;
discipline, to overcome challenges and to
attain a successful and healthy life.  Promote school programmes that build
youth advocacy capacity.

Overview of the This toolkit is designed to be youth centred

and youth friendly. The chapters will define
Advocacy Toolkit what youth advocacy is all about, the different
approaches, the different levels and the variety


his advocacy toolkit and its companion
training manual were designed to
strengthen the youth advocacy framework in
of advocacy tools that may be employed for
effective advocacy work.

Jamaica through a comprehensive strategy The document should encourage youth-led

that involves advocacy training and the research, as well as increase youth awareness
establishment of advocacy networks. This of national and international issues. The
toolkit is a handbook for youth who work toolkit should assist new youth advocates by
to improve adolescent sexual reproductive identifying opportunities for action.
health and the attending social issues that
impact sexual decision making. Issues such Section 1 provides a simple, practical
as crime and violence, substance abuse, poor introduction to advocacy; Section 2 focuses
parenting, lack of proper education, violation on how young people should prepare for
of children and youth rights and poverty. This effective advocacy work; Section 3 provides
toolkit is for youth organisations or youth the steps in building and maintaining youth
advocates working with and for young people. advocacy networks; Section 4 provides a
It can be used as a tool to: variety of advocacy tools and strategies for
 Initiate advocacy-related actions at the action; and the Appendix has summaries of
local and national level; some of the main international conventions
and national laws that affect youth.
 Prioritise and focus the youth advocacy
agenda among young people; Some youth advocates may want to focus on
 Assess the success or failures of other specific sections that are more important to
programmes geared at young people in their work, based on their experience and their
Jamaica; responsibility. Youth advocates interested in

exploring issues and finding out details may While you focus on the information and the
want to focus on the section about youth facts, we hope you will also find within these
research and investigations, while youth pages a desire and a spirit for youth advocacy
advocates interested in bringing people that will become action. The underlying
together may want to focus on building and principles of this toolkit are:
maintaining networks for actions, still others
 Any adolescent or youth can be an
may be interested in advocacy action; while all
advocate; all that is needed is to be actively
these areas are inter-related, there is room for
committed and adequately informed about
specialisation where the need arises.
the issue of interest;

Each section provides WAD UPs!!! Did you  Gathering all available information on an
know? features to provide basic facts every issue is important in effective advocacy;
youth advocate should know about the issues.
 Building and maintaining advocacy
networks is one of the basic building blocks
We hope that you will find this toolkit
for effective advocacy;
informative and useful and a good resource
for your organisation.  Advocacy is an ACTION word. Advocacy
research and planning must end with
targeted action and evaluation.

Advocacy Toolkit vii

troduc tion SECTION 1
In to Advocac y

Learning Objectives
At the end of the section you will be able to:

 Define advocacy

 Determine why advocacy is necessary

 Know the different types of approaches to


 Identify the different levels of advocacy

 Identify who can be an advocate

 Understand the role of an advocate

 Identify the existing opportunities for


What Is Advocacy? parlance is therefore ‘raising cane’ or speaking

out on issues of concern with the goal of

dvocacy has many meanings. This is
so because advocacy takes numerous
shapes and forms. A general definition,
affecting change. If you are an advocate, you
represent the cause or interest of another.
Advocacy can take many forms, such as
however, could be a process of trying to affect sitting down and talking to your Member
change in policies, practices, attitudes, beliefs of Parliament (MP), engaging in efforts to
or actions by influencing powerful people bring about a change in a specific law or
and/or organisations.1 Advocacy in Jamaican encouraging your neighbour to use a condom.

Making Commitments Matter: A Toolkit for Young People to Evaluate National Youth Policy, April 2004,

United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs,

Advocacy Toolkit 
The National Youth Policy of Jamaica (2004)  Taking action;
defines advocacy as soliciting support for a
 Promoting a specific message or course of
particular cause as well as trying to convince
other people because you are convinced
yourself.  Influencing key decision makers and
opinion formers;
Advocacy involves a lot more and also
 Representing, defending or recommending
includes the following:
an idea before other people;
 Educating about an issue and suggesting
 Arguing in favour of something;
 Calling for change;
 Being persuasive;
 Showing how to do things in a better way.
 Asking why;

Here is what
some young
people had ‘Advocacy is the
to say about expression of views for a
advocacy: specific cause or idea.’
Tamian Beckford, age 18: President
of the National Secondary Students
Council, Jamaica

‘Advocacy is about
voicing concerns on a
‘Defending your
group or individual’s behalf.’
or someone else’s views
Mario Mitchell, age 24: President
on an issue.’ of the National Youth
Zuleika Jess, age 18: Student, Council, Jamaica
The University of the West
Indies (Mona)

p!!! Z ‘Speaking’ out can be in the form of song, dance,

-u edutainment (drama), writing a newspaper article,

Wad ou participating in a demonstration or taking part in a

n ow? Z Policies are not restricted to government but also include

K church, community, club or school.

? Z You can be an advocate for both yourself and others.

When advocating for others, make sure that they give you
permission to do so and that you involve them.

Advocacy is: Advocacy is not:

 About empowering people;  A publicity stunt for your personal gain;

 Working with everyone to create  Mere aggression against administration or

a better environment for others; authority;

 About collaboration;  Just about confrontation or demonstrations;

 Getting the truth out responsibly.  Distorting the facts to suit your cause or agenda.

Approaches to Advocacy

here are several approaches to
advocacy. As youth advocates, we need
to be aware of the different approaches for
to work in bringing about change based on
our own experience. For example, if a member
of your family were killed in a road accident
advocacy to be effective. We must be flexible because he or she was not wearing a seatbelt,
enough to adapt to these approaches as we then you might become one of the most
may find that no one approach is better than passionate campaigners for road safety. This is
the other. reactive advocacy.

Sometimes the most passionate advocates On the other hand, there are times when we
are those persons who are directly affected are not directly affected by a situation, but
by a situation. In this case, we feel compelled may perceive it as a threat in the future. In this

Advocacy Toolkit 
instance, we can start creating an environment Local Government: Issues for advocacy at
that will help to minimise or prevent the this level include cleaning and maintenance
impact of the pending situation. In 2003, for of drains, disaster preparedness, road
example, student leaders at the University of maintenance and garbage disposal.
the West Indies advocated against the pending
liberalisation of education which was not yet National: At the national level, civil and
in effect, but was seen as a future threat. This is political rights, employment opportunities,
proactive advocacy. crime and violence, substance abuse, teenage
pregnancy, gang violence, education and
health are key advocacy issues.
Levels of Advocacy
Regional: Regional integration and the

dvocacy takes place at many levels
and varies according to the problems to
be addressed and the individuals and groups
CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME),
the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), HIV/AIDS,
sports and culture are important advocacy
involved. The different levels of advocacy issues at this level.
International: At the international level,
Individual: Sometimes we are called upon to environmental degradation, pollution, debt,
make decisions based on how we feel about war, terrorism, racism, human trafficking,
a particular issue or organisation. Voting is an globalisation, trade and official development
individual act of advocacy (whether at school, assistance are important advocacy concerns.
in a group or at the local government or
national level) as is everyday decision making. You will notice that issues and concerns
and ultimately decisions made at each of
Family: Some of the issues at this level include these levels affect people at the other levels.
the role of women who stay at home, work Therefore, advocacy tools used to bring about
or go to school; the rights of children; how change must address each level to ensure
resources are distributed; children who work; lasting change. International debt, according
parenting and the impact of female-headed to Tearfund Roots Resources, means that
households. national governments have little money to
spend on healthcare and education. Therefore,
Community: At the community level, advocacy work aimed at the national level
issues for advocacy include the role of faith- will not bring about much change unless
based organisations, community-based work is also done at the international level.
organisations, community leaders; community Furthermore, people in communities and the
safety and security and community family also suffer or benefit from the decisions

Why Be an Advocate?
d -u
D id You Z An
international P

articipation is a right for all youth!
Every policy (written or unwritten) or

n ow? policy enacted piece of legislation enacted at the community,

K 1 million miles national, regional or international level

away still impacts you and other young people. It is,
affects you? therefore, important for you and other young
people to be involved at all levels of decision-
making to ensure that any policy, programme
or law put into action is relevant to your
situation. After all, you know what works and
made at other levels such as at the individual,
what does not.
regional or international level.

Who Can Be an Opportunities for

Advocate? Advocacy in Jamaica

nyone can be an advocate, whether
in or out of school, from a village or

here are numerous opportunities for
young people to express their views and
advocate for issues pertaining to community
a large town, rich or poor. All you need is to
and national development. A number of these
be actively committed to and adequately
areas were already identified under Levels of
informed about the issue. Very often, we
Advocacy, however, the Jamaican society is
tend to see politicians, policy makers or other
currently undergoing a number of challenges
persons in authority as the only ones who can
which are opportunities for young people
engage in advocacy. Young people also often
believe that they lack the training or funding
to engage in advocacy. However, young
people can and should be advocates. In fact, OPENING THE DOOR
young people are often the most outspoken
and convincing advocates for better Advocacy involves
unlocking, opening
programmes and policies affecting them.
and walking through
the door, or in some
cases knowing when
to redirect efforts to
finding another door!

Advocacy Toolkit 
-u p!!!
Wad ou Z More than half (52%) of all reported AIDS cases in Jamaica
are in the 20-39 year old age group.

n ow? Z Adolescents between 10 & 19 (mainly males) account for

K 26% of the total visits to the Accident & Emergency Unit

for all hospitals in Jamaica for injuries such as stab wounds,
gun shot wounds, blunt injury and intentional wounds.

to make their voices heard. Some of these and the appointment of young persons to
include, but are not limited to rising crime major national task forces and commissions.
and violence (in recent times, several children Recently, young people have served as mayors
have been the targets for rape and murder); and parish councillors for a day.
drug abuse; gang warfare; poverty; juvenile
delinquency and HIV/AIDS. These are issues
that young people must address and must The Roles of an
also demand that the necessary policies,
programmes and legislation be put in place by

those in authority. dvocates take on varying roles
depending on what they hope to
Opportunities for advocacy also include the achieve or the changes they want to affect.2
hosting of Children and Youth Parliaments Here are some possible roles and associated
each year, the hosting of UN Model Assembly actions of advocates in the table below:

Role Action

Represent Speak for people

Accompany Speak with people

Empower Enable people to speak for themselves

Mediate Facilitate communication between people

Model Demonstrate the practice to people or policy makers

Negotiate Bargain for something

Network Build coalitions

Graham Gordon, Advocacy Toolkit: Understanding Advocacy, Tearfund, Teddington, UK, 2002.

eparing fo SECTION 2
Pr rA
d vocac y

Learning Objectives
At the end of the section you will be able to:

 Know the steps involved in preparing for


 Have an idea of how you identify important

issues around you

 Know how to research the issue identified

 Be able to develop goals and ojectives for

you advocacy campaign

 Be able to identify your audience and

 Know some ways to deal with critiscism of
your advocacy work

o you want to be an advocate, how
do you go about becoming one?
Preparing for advocacy involves a series of
4. Develop goals

5. Develop specific objectives for your

advocacy work
steps. The steps are as follows:
6. Identify targets
1. Self-evaluation
7. Identify resources/partners
2. Issue or problem identification
8. Identify opponents
3. Analyse and research the issue/problem

Advocacy Toolkit 
Step 1: Self-Evaluation The first step is to gather all possible
information available on the topic within

elf-evaluation is to determine if you which you feel the problem lies. This data
have gained the relevant skills to should help you identify gaps in knowledge,
effectively advocate. What kind of person services or policies. Here are some additional
am I? This is a question you must ask yourself tools that should help you to identify the
before you start advocating. most important issues on which to focus your
advocacy effort:
Am I:

 Objective?
Direct Observation
 Able to exercise independent and good
judgment? You may want to gain first-hand information
on an issue. To do so, you may need to visit
 Sensitive and understanding?
specific places and observe what is happening.
 Persistent and patient? You would not participate in the activities, but
pay attention to behaviours, expressions and
 Sufficiently knowledgeable?
emotions of the people. For example, to better
 Assertive? understand how young people are treated in
 Respectful of others and ethical? places of safety, you could visit and observe
how the authorities treat young people. If
These are some of the qualities that an you want to know how the pharmacists or
advocate should possess! storeowners treat young people when they go
to buy condoms, you could visit these places
and observe the reactions.
Step 2: What Issues
Should I Focus On? Transect Walk

t is very important to think critically
about an issue when preparing for
your advocacy work. This is not always easy,
This is different from direct observation in
that you engage the young people on whose
behalf you will be advocating. You can also
irrespective of the approach to advocacy you physically observe an area with the aim of
are employing (see section 1 - Approaches to identifying what the issues of that area or
Advocacy). persons living in that area are. The information
gathered is usually evaluated to determine
advocacy focus.

Fishbone Diagram young persons to rank these on a scale of 1-5
with 5 being the highest and 1 the lowest.
This is basically a brainstorming session on Tally the final score and the problem or issue
a particular issue. Here you will look at and with the highest total to identify the most
discuss all the possible problems, gather important issue or problem to the young
existing knowledge about the topic and group people who participated.
into general categories.

Cause 2
Tree Diagram
sub-cause This tool allows you to approach issues of
importance to youth through the use of a tree
sub-cause sub-cause diagram.
sub-cause sub-cause
How to proceed
Cause 1 Cause 3
Draw a skeleton of a tree. Place the issue at
How to proceed the root of the tree. Ask why the issue exists
Clearly describe the issue to be pursued; to find the first cause. Then ask why that
for example, teenage pregnancy or youth cause exists. Continue until you reach the root
unemployment. Identify the major categories cause. Some issues/causes may have more
or factors that contribute to the issue. This will than one cause, creating branches. This helps
help you to organise the problem. Brainstorm you to diagrammatically represent the issues
the problems that are associated with the surrounding a topic so you can decide which
issue. Write these problems on the diagram cause to eliminate.
and connect them to the appropriate main
category. Each cause may have sub-causes Why?
which you should show on the diagram.
Continue to ask “why” to get to the root cause.
Problem Ranking
Here you will investigate problems associated
with an issue and grade them in order of Why?
How to proceed

Make a list of all the problems young people Issue

might face within a general topic. Ask some

Advocacy Toolkit 
Since parents, the press, law makers, business

-u p!!! people and teens will be interested in and/

Wad ou Z Some ways to or concerned with different aspects of the

get information problem at hand, ensure there is material on

are watching the concerns of specific audiences.

the TV,
listening to the In analysing the current situation, these are

radio, reading some question you need to ask:
or direct a. What programmes or services exist in your
observation. community to develop or empower young

b. How many persons do these programmes/

Step 3: Researching services reach?

the Issue c. Are these programmes productive?

d. Are these programmes accessible to all?

t is important to understand the
environment in which you will be doing
your advocacy work (see section 1 - Levels of
e. Do they meet the needs specified by the

Advocacy). Additionally, building support f. Does anyone, or any group, benefit from
for a change or implementation of a policy the situation as it is?
or programme requires putting forward
g. Who do you need as supporters of the
convincing arguments on why the programme
or policy is needed and what its effect will be.
In understanding the current situation you h. What are their viewpoints on the issue?
should get first-hand information of what is i. What policy-making body will make the
harming a particular group of people. Getting required decisions?
this information sometimes requires going to
a library to research the issue or just asking j. What is the process this policy-making
persons in your community what they think body uses to make decisions?
about it. This allows you to get clear, complete k. Who is running in the upcoming elections?
and accurate information from persons in the
l. How will their success affect the
target area on the services available (if any) to
programme change or implementation?

Table 1: Research Tools and Methods

Name of tool Purpose Additional notes Procedure for use

Semi-structured To provide a Also called conversational Prepare a list of monitoring

interviews forum for one-to- interviews, this provides questions. Determine the
one discussion an opportunity for self- groups by gender, age, social
in a comfortable expression to people groups, etc. Ask open-ended
atmosphere. who are shy or otherwise questions that allow persons
resistant to opening up in to answer beyond yes or no.
front of other people. Try to be flexible. New issues
might come up, make note
of these to be discussed later,
however, keep the discussion
on the original issue.

Desk review To gather existing This tool is very important Collect all possible data
documented in getting background on topic, including what
information on the information on the you might deem irrelevant
topic. topic, which can then be or worthless. Review this
reviewed. information deducing aspects
relevant to your issue.

Surveys To get responses to A survey is asking persons Construct a series of

a series of structured a series of questions in line questions in line with the
questions. with the issue or problem. topic of focus. Restrict the
Surveys should be used possibilities for answers and
to complement some disseminate either in the
other tool used to gather form of questionnaires or
information. It is very semi-structured interview.
important that in a survey Surveying can be done at
respondents are assured town centres, markets, sports
that their responses will be events, or other places where
kept confidential. young people congregate.

Focus groups To openly discuss the These groups have Identify a central location
issues surrounding a members of similar which is easily accessible by
topic. characteristics, age all. Bring together 8-12 young
range, interests, etc. The people to participate in
information collected from each focus group. Ask every
a focus group discussion member a series of questions,
provides input when recording the responses.
developing an advocacy Ensure you start with an
plan or assessing an issue that will generate
advocacy campaign’s much discussion and allow
progress. participants to start thinking.

Advocacy Toolkit 11
Step 4: Forming Goals goal should also reflect a long-term vision and
should be attainable. For example, the goal

nce you have good understanding might be to improve adolescent reproductive
of the issue you want to focus health by increasing access to reproductive
your attention on, you must identify and health education and services.
rank the causes or problems identified. Each
An advocacy goal is crucial because it shows
problem should be assessed by creating a
how you plan to influence and produce
set of criteria. Add to the criteria you have
policies to improve the lives of young people.
identified using the tools in Step 3: Researching
The goal may help to identify the kinds of
the Issue, by responding to the following
policies that should be addressed, such as:
 Increase funds allocated by the
 How severe is the problem? Is it life
government to youth development;
threatening? Does it cause permanent
disability?  Change laws or policies affecting young
people’s access to information and services;
 How frequently does the problem occur?
Do many young people experience this  Encourage ministry support of, and
problem? Or is it rare? collaboration with, youth-serving
 What are the social and economic
consequences of the problem? What  Revise internal policies of companies; and
impact does the problem have at the
 Identify and change unwritten polices with-
individual, family and community levels?
in communities, churches, schools, clinics,
 Are resources available to support the businesses or other institutions.
proposed actions?

 Given existing resources, public attitudes

and current policies, can advocates
Step 5:
realistically have an effect on the problem? Forming Objectives
Using these questions as a guide, advocates
can select one or two of the most pressing
issues to young people. These issues are
nce you have agreed on your goal,
you should next formulate your
objectives. Objectives should have a clear time
referred to as primary issues. When the frame, be measurable and realistically reflect
primary issues are identified, advocates the capabilities of the advocacy effort. A time
must then reformulate them as a goal. The line will help you visualise how the advocacy
goal should be a broad statement of what campaign is progressing and where it needs
advocacy around the issue will achieve. The to concentrate its effort. There are generally

!!! Step 6:
-u p
Wad ou Target Audience
Y Z Objectives
should be

Kn ow? SMART:
nce you finalise your objectives, then
you must identify your target audience.

Specific The target audience is the person or group
of people who can help bring about the
Measurable improvement or change you hope to achieve.
Attainable There are two kinds of target audiences:
Realistic primary and secondary.
Time-bound Primary audiences are those persons with
the direct authority to make changes in the
three types of advocacy objectives: process, areas you are proposing, e.g., Ministers of
outcome and impact. These may sound government, Ministers of religions.
daunting, but don’t panic!
Secondary audiences are those persons who
Process objectives describe the number cannot make changes themselves but can
or duration of activities to be carried out to influence persons who have direct authority
achieve your goal. They are most commonly to do so or not, e.g., business leaders and
tracked by using forms such as time lines or community members.
daily activity logs. A process objective for
advocacy might be to meet with five law Targets can include:
makers over the next six months to promote  Law makers (parliamentarians, legislators)
the issue of concern.
 Consumers
Outcome objectives are basically the  Youth organisations
immediate aim of the advocacy effort.
 Women’s groups
These objectives generally describe planned
changes in the knowledge, attitudes or  Men’s groups
behaviour of those targeted.
 Public officials
Impact objectives focus on the long-term  Religious leaders
outcome of your advocacy campaign. An
 Community leaders
impact objective might be to increase by 20
percent the use of condoms by adolescents in  Media representatives
the next five years.

Advocacy Toolkit 13
It is very important
Allies Opponents Undecided
to differentiate if
your targets are
allies, undecided or
opponents. As such,
put the name of
each of your targets
in the appropriate
column of the table
at right. This allows
you to quickly
identify who to
target and when.

Step 7: Resources 2. How can you contribute to the efforts of

other organisations?
Needed for Advocacy 3. What are the advantages and
disadvantages of forming alliances or

pon identifying your target audience
and completing all relevant research,
you will need to work out the resources
coalitions with each of them?

After answering these questions, if your

needed to effectively execute your advocacy proposal is new and no one else is working on
effort. When seeking resources, ensure it:
that the first place you look is amongst the
members of your team. Resources needed for  Encourage your close friends and other
your advocacy work fall within the following effective and interested persons to
three groups: human, technical and financial. join your campaign as they represent a
population that you don’t have to search
Human: You may want to identify and recruit for and spend a lot of time convincing.
allies to assist you in research and information  Use existing opportunities to meet
dissemination. In identifying these allies, ask and communicate. Hold meetings in
yourself: conjunction with other events, such as a
1. Which other organisations, groups and conference or workshop that members are
individuals are concerned or already acting already attending.
upon the same policy issue?  Use the publications (already existing) of
members to disseminate information on
your advocacy efforts.

Technical: You will not always have sufficient
information in the field where your advocacy
Step 8: Responding
work takes you. As such it is very important to Opposition
that you link with persons or organisations
that can provide training in the specific area.

Financial: Several attempts at advocacy

very programme has critics. Advocates
for youth programmes and policies
must be prepared to face disagreement and
failed because of inadequate funding. With even resentment from some people who do
many organisations operating on limited not support them. Facing disagreement may
budgets, a large-scale advocacy campaign not be easy, but it is an opportunity for you
may be difficult without additional sources of to meet and communicate with the public.
income. The cost of travel, communications, Remember that some critics will not openly
resource development and even insufficient disagree. It is important to anticipate what
technical capacity (training) can limit success. disagreements may be present and to respond
In successfully identifying financial resources, openly and accurately. Some critics can be
remember: made supporters if they are heard respectfully,
have their questions answered accurately, and
 The private sector, especially local
are invited to contribute to discussions on
businesses. Local businesses provide a large
the issue. Providing information, listening to
potential source of support and are often
others, answering questions and responding
overlooked by advocates.
to concerns provide the best chance of
 Companies that actively advertise, building support in a community.
especially to youth. Business leaders can be
sponsors and give donations. Almost all advocacy efforts depend on
convincing people to support a cause. So,
 Sponsoring events and donating to
advocates must always be ready to make a
programs demonstrate a company’s
clear case for their position. Remember that
commitment to social responsibility.
open discussion allows everyone to be heard
and different ideas to be considered. Open

u p!!! Z Research can communication can also lead to compromises

d - be as simple
that strengthen the support for your program

as asking your
or policies.
D id community

members their
K n o views on an

? Z Resources can be
financial, human
or technical.

Advocacy Toolkit 15
Sources of Opposition Dealing with
Opposition and Criticism
It is very important that you know who
opposes your proposals. Opposition can arise After listening carefully, the most important
from many sources: tool in convincing critics is clear, accurate and
 Some people oppose a policy or program responsive information. Many people form
proposal because they question the need opinions based on information; giving them
for it, what is being proposed or how the more or more accurate information may help
plan will be put into practice. Listening to them to re-evaluate their opinion. Others form
their concerns, providing them with more opinions based on emotion and convictions.
information and working to include their The key is to listen for underlying reasons for
ideas into the plan can transform these criticism and respond with ‘facts’. Find out if
critics into supporters and make the plan members of your community are affiliated
better. with your known critics and who they are.
Collect the information that this group has
 Some people oppose a policy or program
on the issue and find factual counteractions
proposal because they fear it will
to this information. Find out which decision
undermine what they have known for
makers are associated with the opposition,
years. Listen to these concerns and try to
what their arguments are likely to be when
show how your proposal helps to make life
approached with the proposed program and
prepare factual counter-arguments for these
 Some people oppose proposals because arguments.
they feel they have been left out of the
process. Advocates should make every
effort to involve all community viewpoints,
from the earliest discussion about a desired
policy or program.

 Some people are unsupportive for personal

reasons, such as the involvement in the
advocacy campaign of someone they
dislike or distrust or their own experiences.
It is good to show that the idea is bigger
than any one person or group and deserves
consideration on its own worth.

The BE-attitudes for Advocacy
 BE the listener – Always listen carefully to what others say to you.

 BE efficient – Start partnering with firm supporters and move on
to those who are moderately progressive or undecided in their
views. If you have friends, relatives and/or colleagues who share
your position, involve them because ‘links run the world’.

 BE clear – State your position in an unambiguous manner.

 BE polite – Always begin by thanking the decision makers for
meeting with you. A sincere ‘thank you’ goes a long way.

 BE professional – You must be professional in both dress and

manner. Never say negative things about other legislators or public

 BE focused – Stick to one issue per call or letter. Information about
more than one topic will confuse the message and water down
your point.

 BE honest – Tell the truth, there is no faster way to lose your
credibility than to give false or misleading information to a

 BE smart – One influential leader can help persuade other people.
Anticipate who the opposition will be, both organisations and
individuals. Also, know who else is on your side. It is helpful for

a decision maker to know which other groups, individuals, state
agencies and/or legislators are working with you on an issue.
Remember ‘there is strength in numbers’.

 BE prepared – Look ahead to consider who might object to the

advocacy campaign and what he or she may say. Consider whether

past statements give a sense of what kind of information he/she
hears and how he/she makes decisions. Prepare the message
before meeting with the person.

continued on next page

Advocacy Toolkit 17
 BE brave – Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something. If
decision makers want information you don’t have or ask something
you don’t know, tell them you do not know and will get the

information for them.

 BE specific in what you ask for – Whether you want a vote,

information, answers to a question, signature on a petition or

something else, make sure you ask directly and get an answer.

 BE the one to follow up – It is very important to find out if the

decision maker did what he/she said he/she would. Send a thank
you letter after your conversation, restating your position.

 BE the bigger man/woman – Even if you get emotional about an

issue discussed at a meeting, be sure you leave that meeting on a
good note.

 BE flexible – Use terms the audience understands. To be effective,
you must be flexible enough to change your language, using terms
that the audience understands and appreciates. This is not ‘talking
down’ to people; it is showing them courtesy by using commonly
understood language.

i l d ing N SECTION 3
B u e t wo

Learning Objectives
At the end of the section you will be able to:

 Define networks and networking

 Establish advocacy networks

 Plan for maintaining advocacy networks

 Understand and prepare for the challenges

of advocacy networks

Advocating on any issue can be quite

demanding. Working in networks makes it
easier to identify issues of shared concern
as they relate to youth. It allows for greater
success as people/organisations work

ne of the basic building blocks
for effective advocacy is building
networks. Networking as used in this
together by coordinating efforts and
resources. Networks become quite useful,
especially when targeting policy makers. The
toolkit is a simple process for developing coming together of various groups around
and maintaining contact with persons or one issue is a powerful demonstration of
organisations that share or support your goals support that should not be overlooked.
and ideas. The term network as used here
refers to persons or organisations that can be If you are still not convinced about the
called on to collaborate on a shared advocacy power of networks, here are some benefits of
plan. networks to consider.

Advocacy Toolkit 19
Networks: We are sure that by now you are convinced
that networks make it easier for you to change
 Provide up-to-date information of issues of the knowledge, attitudes and practices of
concern major decision makers.
 Provide an easily accessible audience for
discussing ideas

u p!!! Z Anyone can

d - be a part of
 Secure and provide support for your

actions your network,

D id provided he/she

 Form the nucleus for action and attract shares similar
other networks
K n o ideas and

 Bring together organisations, individuals concerns with
you or is able
and resources for the common goal
to support your
 Expand the base of support position.
 Provide access to different skills and
Schools Individuals

Police or Examples of Persons

public Citizens’
sector and Organisations associations
workers Involved in Networks

Churches and Police

faith-based youth
organisations clubs

How to whenever they convene to implement these
policies or laws.
Establish a Network
Networks bring you into direct contact with


simple way in which you can form
networks is to attract the support of
persons who are closest to you. Partnerships
influential persons and organisations that
may be less directly involved in the process
of policy making. These individuals play a
can begin within your own home. Get the very important role in mobilising the public
support of family members who in turn will towards positive action. As such they can
garner support from persons they interact prove to be very crucial.
with on a regular basis. Having gained the
support of these individuals who are closest These individuals and organisations may
to you, move on to other individuals or include:
community-based organisations (CBOs) that  The media, especially those who have
share your interests. your interests and the interests of your
constituents at heart
You can now move to include the ‘big guns’
in your network. When building networks for  Business groups such as Jamaica Chamber
advocacy purposes, it is important for you to of Commerce and executives in private
incorporate opinion leaders such as politicians business
in the local and central governments. These  Academic institutions
individuals are in positions to present your
 Non-government organisations such as
ideas and concerns to policy makers with
whom they come in contact. Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Jamaicans
for Justice
When establishing a network, you must  International development agencies such
identify the role that different individuals, state as USAID, CIDA, UN agencies
institutions (such as ministries, police, medical
 Social movements such as youth
personnel or any other public institution)
and civil society organisations play in the empowerment organisations (Jamaican
preparation of policies and laws. By identifying Union of Tertiary Students, National
their roles and responsibilities, you are in a Secondary Student Council, National Youth
better position to collaborate with them so as Council of Jamaica)
to reach your desired target.  Labour unions

You must make your position on a particular Having succeeded in forming your network,
issue clear from the beginning. This makes it you must be certain about how you are going
easier for partners to present your concerns to maintain it. It must be able to further the

Advocacy Toolkit 21
cause for which it was established. Here are
some questions you should consider as you
Guidelines for
decide on how to maintain your network: Effective Networks

 What is the mission of the network?
dvocates for Youth compiled a list of
 How large is the network? key tips for building and sustaining
successful networks which you will find
 What are the skills and resources of the
network and its members?

 What gaps exist within the group? Keep in touch: Create a ‘contacts’ book with
information on people and organisations that
 Where do these gaps exist?
are part of the network as well as key contact
 How do you plan to address these gaps and people. Ensure you have information such as
others which may arise in the future? telephone numbers, mailing address, e-mail
 How will you attract persons with needed address and fax number. This should be used
skills/resources to join your network? to keep in touch with the members of your
network, as well as facilitate communication
 Will your network have a set of rules which among members.
will guide how it operates?

 How will decisions be made? Share information among members:

Members should have a keen understanding
 How will all members stay informed? of each other’s roles and responsibilities.
 How will consensus be reached? This will help build trust among members.
Communication is key to maintaining
 How will you maintain a balance of power?
networks. Network members must know what
 How will disagreements be managed/ is taking place and what they can do to further
resolved? the process of advocacy at all times.
 How will the group develop its plan of
Develop a network mission statement and
goals: A mission statement is usually general
 How will network activities be coordinated? and reflects the beliefs and philosophy of
the network. Mission statements make clear
 How will tasks be assigned to various
the issues the network supports. Goals show
members of the network?
how the network plans to shape policy,
 How will network activities be programmes and/or laws around a particular

 How will the network’s activities be 3

Adam Shannon, Advocating for Adolescent
monitored and evaluated? Reproductive Health in Sub-Saharan Africa,
Advocates for Youth, Washington, DC, 1998.

issue. By becoming a member of a network, the same donor agencies. This can create
the organisation or individual is in effect an atmosphere of mistrust which can spell
endorsing the mission and goals of the disaster for the network.
 Some members of the network may find it
difficult to work collaboratively due to past
Develop objectives and strategies:
personal or professional experiences.
Objectives are the specific policy changes
that the network aims to achieve. Objectives  The larger the network grows, the harder it
must be specific, achievable and measurable is to manage. Keeping all members aware
and serve as a means to evaluate network of meetings, actions taken, results and
activities. Strategies are the activities used upcoming activities can prove challenging.
by the network to achieve its objectives.
 The network may not always find it easy
Strategies may include a public education
to divide the work equitably amongst all
campaign or lobbying government to pass a
parties. Some members may feel left out if
not given enough work whilst others may
feel burdened if given too much. Seek to
Create and follow a realistic time line:
strike a balance.
Building a functioning network can take
months or years. An achievable time line,  There is a tendency for powerful members
with targeted activities every month, will help of a network to be controlling. However,
ensure that the network focuses on its goals this should not be, and the network
and is realistic in planning possible activities. should operate on the basis of cooperation
amongst all members.

Challenges to  Members may not always agree on the

rules that ought to govern the network.
Building Networks However, for the network to function
smoothly and effectively, a set of rules must

ike many things in life, building networks
is hard work, and one must be aware of
some of the difficulties and plan on addressing
be decided on.

Action…Not ah bag a mout’

So you have identified your goals and
 Network members may not always agree objectives, you’ve formed your networks and
on the goals, strategies and objectives of it’s now time for you to take action. But before
the network. you act, you must plan.

 Parties to a network may sometimes find

themselves competing for funding from

Advocacy Toolkit 23
dvocacy in SECTION 4
A Act
Learning objectives
At the end of the section you will be able to:

 Use practical skills when carrying out advocacy


 Identify the skills necessary for effective advocacy


 State the advantages and disadvantages of each

advocacy method/technique

 Explain the steps involved in the advocacy planning


 Complete a skills-building activity which can be

used to learn and practice the skills of advocacy

 Write a concise position paper

 Organise a press conference

 Explain effective ways of advocating for policy


 State clear examples/case studies of success stories

in advocacy at the national and international levels
What Is
Advocacy in Action?

dvocacy in action is the foundation of
all advocacy work. It provides hands-
on skills and learning to help you advocate
carpenter relies on a hammer, an advocate
needs tools to use on the job! These tools will
provide you with flexibility to be creative and
effectively. It explores the various techniques discover new ideas and ways to explore the
or tools that an advocate can use. In the same exciting world of advocacy!
way that a doctor uses a stethoscope or a

Advocacy Toolkit 25
In this section, you will practice using a An important aspect of advocacy is a
planning framework or advocacy ladder. This knowledge base. You should be able to
is a simple and popular framework developed identify various issues or problems and focus
by the International Council of AIDS Service on a particular area for your advocacy work.
Organisations (ICASO). You can also call this Remember the Advocacy Steps, because we
framework the Advocacy Steps. Let’s climb the will be climbing our way to the top using
advocacy ladder together! those steps! Get ready to have some fun while
you learn!

Step 8:
Implement, monitor Essential
and evaluate
Advocacy Tools
Step 7:
Create an
action plan Educational and Promotional
Materials and Publications
Step 6:
Identify Educational materials and publications are a
your allies great learning experience for youths as well
as adults. Using these materials can be a very
Step 5: exciting. We can use them in very informative
and persuasive ways to:
your resources
 Raise public awareness on a particular
Step 4: issue;
your targets  Increase public sensitivity on an issue;

 Reduce discrimination; and

Step 3:
Develop specific objectives  Highlight facts about an issue.
for your advocacy work
At right is a chart containing educational
Step 2: and promotional tools that can make your
Analyze and research advocacy work effective. We will briefly
the issue/problem examine some of them.

Step 1:
Select an issue or problem
that you want to address


Briefing Annual
Note Reports

Canvassing Newsletter

Sheets Educational, Research
Materials and
Petitions Publications

Personal Position
Testimony Paper

Studies Videos


Briefing Note and note is a position paper with additional advice

to the speaker—for example, how to answer
Position Paper questions or key points to emphasise.
A briefing note and a position paper are
On the other hand, a position paper is written
documents that clearly state the position
for a target, not an ally or supporter. It is a
or opinion of an organisation or coalition
formal written record of the position (opinion)
about a particular issue. The message of
of an organisation or coalition for an external
these documents states: ‘This is what we
think about this topic, and this is what we
recommend’. A briefing note is written for When to use a position paper
an ally or supporter, not a target. It helps
someone who is speaking publicly in support A position paper can be used at all levels of
of your advocacy objective. Often a briefing advocacy (see section 1).

Advocacy Toolkit 27
 It can be given to an individual decision 3. Supply evidence to support the
maker at the end of a face-to-face meeting recommendation. It can be in the form of:
to summarise the main points of your
a. Quantitative evidence: Facts and figures;
 It can be sent to local and national
b. Qualitative evidence: Case studies,
governments during consultation exercises.
personal testimonies, anecdotes or
 It can be sent to people of influence, in examples.
response to a policy or action to explain an
4. State your position or a logical explanation
alternative or supporting position.
of how the evidence leads to the
 It can be used to summarise the resolutions recommendations.
of a conference or workshop.
5. Outline recommendations which
 It can be used to show that a partnership should be specific, realistic actions that
of many different allies supports your the decision maker can take. Be sure to
advocacy objective. state those actions clearly and without
 It can be given to delegates or members of
a committee at the beginning of a meeting 6. Indicate organisations and individuals
or conference—whether or not you speak supporting this position paper. Include:
at the meeting.
a. Name of your organisation or coalition,
and logo if appropriate
How to prepare a position paper
b. A contact name, address, telephone and
Ideally, you should write a position paper
fax numbers, and e-mail address, where
in full sentences and type it neatly. Here is a
proposed format that you can use as a guide
for writing position papers. c. Mission/goals of your organisation or
1. Provide statement of main
recommendation(s) in one or two d. Date
When to use a briefing note
2. Provide background or explanation of
why the position paper was written. The briefing note will be seen only by
List laws, international treaties, policies individuals within your organisation or within
and other documents that support the your advocacy network. It assists members
recommendation. in delivering advocacy messages, so it is
acceptable to write notes instead of full
sentences and to use bullet points.

Follow the same format as for the position
paper, but you may: Do’s and Don’ts for
Preparing Position Papers
 Emphasise the most important points,
and Briefing Notes
using for example, bold type/underline or
a coloured pen.
4 Use appropriate language for your
 Suggest possible strategies, tactics and target audiences
minimum demands that should not be
4 Write your position paper and
compromised. briefing note to a specific audience
 Include possible questions that might be for a specific reason
asked and suggested answers. 4 Be brief and to the point
4 Ensure that sufficient background
 Include difficult issues that might arise, and
information is included
suggest how to deal with them.
4 Give full references of any research
or information quoted
Communicating 4 Ask others for ideas before writing
with the Media 4 Separate fact from opinion
4 Make sure the appropriate people
Any advocacy campaign that expects to be have been consulted
successful must target opinion leaders, the 4 Ensure that everyone in the
public, and the media. All three are inter- organisation understands the
related and each depends on the others. position the organisation is taking
Public officials will support a position only if 4 Read it carefully for mistakes before
they believe they have public backing. The sending or using it
media inform and educate the public about
Do not:
issues that may be of concern to youth and
can set the agenda regarding policy changes. 8 Include the words ‘advocating’ or
A public that is educated about an issue will ‘advocacy’
more likely push for changes and support your 8 Include irrelevant information
cause. 8 Quote people without their
permission or break confidentiality
The media act as information brokers and 8 Use abbreviations
provide spaces for public debate. This makes
8 Distribute a position paper that
the media a very important advocacy tool.
contradicts what you have said
Understanding the media in Jamaica is very
important to all aspiring advocates. You
must take time to know the local media.

Advocacy Toolkit 29
Communicating with the media involves There are several local television stations in
simple things like watching the evening news Jamaica which are not only ‘news hungry’
on television or listening to it on the radio, but youth friendly and are just waiting for
reading articles in the print media as well as stories of your good work. Some television
reading biographies of journalists. The latter programmes seek people to interview so
will guide you in finding journalists with you should get information about these
special interests in your area of work or those programmes and find out how you and
with interest in youth-related issues. your members can participate. When they
eventually invite you, make sure that every
Media communication is any planned activity member wears their organisation T-shirt. You
which seeks to: should also take a poster or some flyers about
Educate your organisation. In addition, talk to the host
about your organisation and use the after
Inform show to promote it.
When you meet radio personalities at various
Motivate functions, be sure to talk to them about who
Move to action you are and your issues. A good practice
is to walk with a copy of your magazine or
At times you may have to introduce yourself newsletter, if you have one, and leave it at
and your organisation to the media. A good media houses. Never lose an opportunity to
way to start is to look for areas of general talk about your club or organisation!
interest such as sports, health, education,
politics or just nature. Harness the creative and Before we can master the art of
diverse energy within your organisation. Send communicating with the media, there are
poems, stories or news; congratulate someone some fundamental lessons to learn. Let’s go!
in your club or a teacher; or write about a cool
doctor at a health centre.
Press Release
When you do this, make sure to sign your
What is a press release? A press release (or
name and highlight your organisation. If you
news release) is a written document sent to
do a good job and do it regularly, people and
the media to assist them in producing stories.
the media will begin to know you. Sometimes
A press release is the standard method of
you may even develop a readership of your
distributing a story to the media. You can also
own. Use the ‘free’ media, especially youth
telephone a journalist to suggest a story, if you
magazines, the internet and the youth
believe that it is interesting enough and that it
sections of newspapers.
cannot easily be manipulated.

When to use a press release  Use the main part of the press release
to fully explain these points. By putting
You can use a press release for:
forward the facts, this information helps to
 Outlining your organisation’s response to convince the journalist of the importance
an event/action of the subject, and why it is of interest.
 Drawing attention to an issue  Use quotes which often make a press
release more interesting and appealing
 Providing background information on an
to the journalist; they give a human
issue/event or action
dimension to the story!
 Giving advance notice of an event
 Write a summary paragraph as some
 Announcing new campaigns and providing distribution points will receive only your
progress reports headline, summary and a link to your press
 Providing a report of a meeting release. A summary paragraph will increase
the effectiveness of your press release.
 Reporting decisions taken by your
organisation  Use correct grammar. Always follow rules of
grammar and style. Errors in grammar and
 Circulating speeches in advance style affect your credibility. Excessive errors
will cause your press release to be rejected.
How to write a press release
Get someone to proofread your release
When writing a press release, you must pay before sending to the press.
attention to content, style and presentation.
Content When writing a press release, try to:
When writing a press release, try to:
 Use short sentences, approximately
 Write a simple and interesting headline 20 words.
which should help the journalist to
 Use short paragraphs, maximum two or
understand the story immediately.
three sentences.
 Apply the 5W’s rule to the first sentence or
 Copy the format and story structure from a
two, summarising the most important facts
good newspaper article.
of the story, that is:
• Who is involved?  Use a good case study or anecdote as
evidence to support your point of view.
• What is happening?
• Where is it happening?
• When is it happening?
• Why is it happening?

Advocacy Toolkit 31
Presentation  Whether the interview will follow a film or
When writing a press release, try to: will be linked to another story

 Use letterhead so that it looks official and  Why you were chosen for the interview
 If the interview will be broadcast live
 Make sure that it is well laid out and easy to
read. NEVER SUBMIT A PRESS RELEASE IN Find out about the journalist who will be
ALL UPPER-CASE LETTERS. This is very bad interviewing you and:
form and journalists are sure to ignore it.  Investigate his/her audience and the kind
Use mixed case. of information you need to get across
 Type it, using double spacing, on one side  Contact the journalist and agree on the
of the paper only. subject to be discussed. Remember that
 Include the date and the name of your the interview starts as soon as you begin
organisation. talking to a journalist.

 Provide a contact name, telephone and fax There is no such thing as ‘off the record’. You
numbers, and e-mail address as available. must therefore:
 Give the day/date/time when the  Define the issues clearly.
journalists are allowed to use the
 Ask the journalist about the questions he/
she will ask and determine whether they
 Include photographs of key people, places will be supportive or argumentative.
or action mentioned in the press release if
you have them. Differences between media
Press interviews tend to be more relaxed than
Preparing for an Interview radio or TV interviews. If you make a mistake,
say so and answer again.
Before going for an interview, you must know:

 The subject of the interview For radio interviews, the studio manager
will give you specific instructions about
 Where and when the interview will take
where to sit and how to use the microphone.
Sometimes this is done with little time
 The length of the interview to spare. Make sure you understand the
 Other persons being interviewed instructions. Ask what the first question will be
to help you concentrate. You can take notes
with you—but try not to rustle the pages.

Brief notes on cue cards are often Remember the 3C’s: a simple method for a
more helpful. If you make a mistake media interview
during a recorded interview, you
can ask to try the answer again. If it
is live, you can say, ‘Perhaps I might
Use a clear, conversational
explain that answer’, and continue. style and avoid slang.
Confidence Give examples and make
The same rules apply for TV Have confidence in your message clear.
interviews as for the radio yourself and your own
interview, but remember…you
can be seen! Also, TV interviews
Take charge of
are usually shorter than radio the interview
interviews. The interview may be by preparing
pre-recorded or live. adequately.
There are no
wrong questions,
only wrong answers.
Tips to help you prepare for an interview

Prepare catchy Check that you Develop

‘sound bites’ that have up-to-date a draft list
summarise your information on of possible
message the issue questions

Make a list of Prepare statistics, Prepare

key messages facts, case studies, answers
you want to get personal stories and practice
across beforehand them

Advocacy Toolkit 33
Conducting Peaceful provides for the fundamental human right to
freedom of expression and peaceful assembly
Public Demonstrations and association.
and Marches
When to conduct demonstrations
What is a peaceful public
Mass demonstrations and marches are usually
carried out after dialogue with or after the
A peaceful public demonstration is an failed use of another advocacy tool. It is
expression of one’s views or observations best to conduct a demonstration when you
in an open or community space. It involves have the support of other organisations or
the organisation and mobilisation of usually individuals and when you have the support
a large number of persons with a shared of the police as a peace keeping force.
view. A public demonstration may involve a Demonstrations are usually very exciting ways
single person (individual demonstration) or of advocating; however, they often require
hundreds of people (mass demonstration). more planning and greater community
support. Mass demonstrations tend to attract
An important element of all peaceful more attention, especially from the media.
demonstrations and marches is peace. This
advocacy tool usually involves the police or Before conducting a march or demonstration,
security force to stand by to maintain peace do some research on the issue to see how
between those for and against an issue. The others previously sought attention or voiced
Constitution of Jamaica (Chapter III, Clause 13) the issue. Examine what worked and what did
not. A mass demonstration is usually done as a
last option.

!!! Be clear about why you are demonstrating.

Make sure you have a reliable team of
A DE OBTAINI supporters who will not only be there for the
DO N RCH WIT TEMENT F HEIR demonstration but will also help with the
A WR LICE CON E EVENT planning of the event.
Who to contact
 Nearest police station: Request police
presence for the event in writing. Include
the date of the event, time, venue, aims and
persons expected to be there. In the case
of a march, identify by name and number

u p!!! Z Atool.massHowever,
march or demonstration can be a very effective advocacy

- it needs to be planned carefully.

Wad ou
Y Z Remember
to use permission slips to request parent’s

permission for the child to attend.

Kn o
Z Remember to include your contact details on all

correspondence or mail you send out.

Z Do not forget to contact the media and let them in on the ‘juicy
details’ of your event!

specific streets, roads or avenues where requisition or permit slip with the child’s
it will take place. Provide the estimated name clearly printed and space allotted
time of arrival of participants on each road, for parent/guardian’s signature and date
street, or avenue. Request the locations signed. Include your point of contact
where you wish the police to stand. Include as well. Make it clear that without their
a point of contact, for example, telephone permission, their child/ward will not be
number, e-mail address or mailing address. able to attend the march. State the role the
child will play in the march/demonstration,
 Relevant organisations/individuals
for example, whether the child will speak,
participating in the demonstration. These
or will only take part by marching with
individuals must know the role they will
others. State the importance or the aim
play. If they are doing a speech or assisting
of the event along with persons who will
to organise the event, this must be done
be present, and do not forget to mention
through a formal letter of invitation.
that the police will be there as security. If
 Proprietors/owners of the space you children will attend, it is very important to
intend to use. If you need sponsorship obtain the presence and support of the
for the space, then make the request in a police at your event.
formal letter. As most places will attract a
Now that you have made all the relevant
user fee, a cost for clean up after the event
contacts through your first correspondence/
and a utility fee is usually charged. Be
letter/e-mail or phone call, you need to do
clear about all your logistics/plans before
some follow-up calls. This is to ensure the
the chosen date. State all the relevant
mails were received, to reinforce the date
information about the demonstration
and time and to confirm their presence. If
along with your point of contact.
for any reason someone may not make it,
 Parents or guardians if minors/children do not give up! Is there anyone he/she can
are involved. Make sure you have a send or suggest? Be sure to ask in what other

Advocacy Toolkit 35
ways he/she can support the event, such as can be a useful way to involve a wide range
sponsoring drinking water for participants. of people from different backgrounds and
Follow-up calls can be done after five days of with different levels of experience at the local,
the first correspondence with the individual. national and international level.
However, it may vary according to the urgency
of the event. Avoid rushed demonstrations, Drama by itself can be a powerful way to
and even if it happens, make sure it is well convey messages and persuade people to
planned or organised. change their views. You can increase its impact
by adding activities that involve the audience.
After doing your follow-up calls and receiving The use of a ‘theatre forum’ in which the
confirmation, you may plan a programme or audience is invited to explore possible courses
an outline of the order of the day’s event. of action for the characters is an example. A
theatre forum is time allotted to an audience
Following the event, do not forget to write a to discuss or provide feedback on an issue
report which should include action points/ after seeing a drama presentation. This also
what came out of the event and what you helps to evaluate the performances.
intend to do for the next phase of the event.
Send a copy of the report to all those who Drama can address sensitive issues that are
participated. As an expression of gratitude, difficult to talk about. It can also be used as
send a note of thank you to all your sponsors evidence to support an issue. Performances
and speakers and those on the team! can be video-taped to share with people in
positions of influence who cannot attend a live
Edutainment - Using
Drama to Advocate Planning for your drama advocacy
Conduct a talent search: Know the members
Drama is pretending to be someone else,
of your organisation in terms of the talents
somewhere else, doing something else.
they have as well as others who are not in
It involves music (instrumental, vocal),
your organisation but may be able to help you
movement (dance), story-telling, and miming
organise a drama event. Network with other
youths as well as with the media personalities
Drama is an effective advocacy method you may meet. Scout out the artistes (singers
because it can bring certain issues to life, and DJs); know those who are on your side—
making them emotionally powerful, more in other words those who will support your
interesting, easy to understand and relevant issue. Keep up-to-date with the interviews and
to people’s lives. In some situations, a play is with the songs these artistes release. Listen for
more effective than a written report. Drama those that support your advocacy message
and tap into this as a chance to write an article

Tips on using drama to advocate commending the artiste or calling
a radio show to commend him/her
You should also make a contact
Use language
audience will sheet of recording studios and
understand the artiste and promoters who
may be able to help you plan an
edutainment event. You can use
the yellow pages of the telephone
directory for studio listings.
Make contact with groups
Know your
who have used edutainment
at the community, national or
international level. The Ashe
Interest Ensemble, for example, uses
Use ‘theatre
forum’ after edutainment as an effective
Make the acts
performance to interesting and advocacy tool. Others organisations
get feedback have fun! utilizing this tool include Children
from audience
First/Bashy Bus Crew and Youth
Advocacy Movement.

Guidelines for using drama to advocate: Drama blocks!

It is usually best to use a style of drama It is important to be clear about the

that is popular and familiar. A standard objective of any drama for advocacy, and
drama, with an obvious ending, is best to choose a limited number of messages
if the target audience includes decision or themes so that the audience clearly
makers. understands which problem or issue is
being highlighted and the suggested
Sometimes the target audience is the solution.
public, or a community, with the objective
of putting pressure on decision makers. Drama should highlight typical examples
of the issue or problem, rather than
In this case, it is useful to involve extreme cases.
the audience so that they can fully
understand the issues and even debate The involvement of people directly
possible solutions. A key way to involve an affected can make the drama much more
audience is to use a ‘theatre forum’. powerful, if they are happy to do this.

Advocacy Toolkit 37
Candle Light Vigil The same strategies used in planning
a demonstration, as outlined, should
What is a candle light vigil? be adopted here. For greater impact, a
candlelight vigil must be done at night. It
The word vigil is of Latin origin and means a
can be held in a public open space or in an
period of staying awake to keep watch or pray.
enclosed building. Either way, do not forget to
A candle light vigil is a ‘watchful’ response to
invite the media!
an issue, usually a crisis. It involves the use
of lit candles as symbols of one’s opinions or A vigil is best used to sensitise and increase
views of the issues. public awareness of specific issues affecting
people at all levels.
How to use a candle light vigil
Purchase, make or have persons donate
candles. Organise your support team with a
Balloon Parade
shared goal. Each participant would hold a
What is a balloon parade? A parade refers to
lit candle. You may use candle holders or use
a public procession. It is a good way to draw
make-shift ones by placing a lit candle in a
attention to an issue. A balloon parade can
small paper bag filled with sand. These can be
be used to raise awareness about an issue,
held in the hands or placed on the ground.
for example, cancer or an HIV/AIDS anti-
Stay clear of trees, plants, houses or anything
discrimination campaign.
flammable (easily set on fire).
Similar to the candles in a candle light vigil,
To supplement the vigil, you may use posters,
balloons too can be colour coded to represent
pictures or placards highlighting the issue or
different issues or concerns! It involves using
your message. You can organise a structured
helium (a light colourless gas that does not
programme around the vigil. Candles
burn) filled balloons as an exciting way of
represent symbols of hope, but you can colour
presenting facts, statistics and your message.
code your candles according to the issue
being highlighted. Each participant will be required to
hold a balloon, or you can have the
Coloured Issue
balloons released from a container.
Candles Represented
So it is important that you plan the
Red HIV/AIDS-related issues event carefully and get as much
Pink Cancer awareness support as possible. Allow yourself
enough time to plan and organise
White and Blue Crime and violence/peace issues the event: this again depends on
Green Environmental issues the urgency to host such an event.

How to conduct a balloon parade An Effigy Parade
A balloon parade does not only involve large
What is an effigy parade? Have you ever seen
numbers of balloons but it also involves
the Jonkanoo4 Parade in your community
large numbers of people, which oftentimes
at Christmas time? Well, did it catch your
include children. So the same measures/
attention? Did you get a scare or did you run
steps you would use to organise a peaceful
along and play with the painted ‘creatures’?
demonstration would be required to organise
a balloon parade. Do not forget to obtain
An effigy is really a figure or a make-shift
confirmation from the police. As with all social
image of someone, usually the head and not
gatherings, things may go wrong and you may
the whole body. Effigies are usually called ‘big
need the help of the police to maintain peace.
heads’, since the make-shift head or image of
the person is usually bigger than the usual
Contact persons in charge
head size.
of the venue/location where
you plan to host the event.
An effigy parade is a public demonstration
Obtain permission before
which uses models or figures as the highlight
confirming the venue with
to represent real life persons for or against a
other participants. If children
cause or issue. It can be used to celebrate self
are involved, remember to send
and others as well. It is usually very festive and
requisition forms or permission
attracts a lot of attention. This is a fun way to
slips to the parents. Give them
at least seven days notice. Send
out sponsorship letters at least How to conduct the parade
three weeks before the date of
the event. Make your contact Make look-alike faces/heads of those you seek
list/sheet, and conduct follow- to get attention from or of those the issue
up calls. concerns or affects most. Dress up the person
who will wear the big head in the parade, if
Remember to put your contact the real person is a male then the effigy must
details on all correspondence! After the event, be a male or dressed in male garments. This
remember to send out thank you letters and will make the effigy as ‘real’ as possible.
reports to sponsors. Include pictures if you can.

Jonkanoo is one of Jamaica’s cultural remains (remnants) of slavery. The enslaved and later the freed people
would dress in these character costumes and march on the streets. Today, we laugh and play with them and
they chase us, but then it was an act of resistance, an advocacy stunt!

Advocacy Toolkit 39
Once again this event must be very well If you do not have the money required to
planned following similar steps/measures purchase or design the stickers, try seeking
used to organize a public demonstration. sponsorship from printers or from advertisers
or other organisations.
You may use supplemental tools to aid the
parade such as placards, music, or flyers. Contact various printeries (a comprehensive
Do not forget to obtain the support of the list can be found in the yellow pages of the
police and community members if the parade telephone directory), get estimated cost for
will pass through communities. Also notify the production of the stickers and compare
authorities to obtain permission to use specific prices.
roads, streets or avenues if the parade is
mobile (moving from one point or street to Check out the triangle below that explains
another). three simple steps to take when making crack
and peel stickers!

Crack and Peel Stickers

Documented Response
Crack and peel stickers are widely used to
advertise events, goods and services. They What is a documented response?
have also been used to get messages to A documented response is a public answer
people over large geographical areas. Make to an issue, based mainly on evidence-based
attractive stickers by using a simple and cool research. Usually the findings are published
message or slogan. Distribution/circulation in public spaces such as newspapers and case
is easy and inexpensive. A production cost is studies, annual country reports or newsletters,
required to make the crack and peel stickers. situational analysis reports or magazines.

It is very similar to a demonstration, however,

a key feature is information and research on
short and the issue. Usually these findings or newspaper
You can design
catchy message clippings can be scanned, printed and
crack and peel
mounted on large card stock/hard
stickers Choose eye-catching
paper, or you can compile these
colours and use writing styles
that are clear and can be easily read findings in file jackets or enter
them in a computer database.
Print about 10 and have other youth or adults
view and critique the stickers.
Ask what they like or don’t like about the stickers.
Use these ideas to produce the final product!

possibilities into consideration
while planning a documented

or Session
What is an advo-party?
An advo-party is a public
support or promotion of an
issue using non-traditional
means/ways. It involves
the organisation of people
Participants in the SAVE OUR CHILDREN CAMPAIGN, which is a
through music to achieve
documented response to the acts of violence against Jamaica’s
children and youth. public support of an issue or
increase awareness. Other
An easy and cheap idea is to make a collage names for advo-party include advo-jam, advo-
(patchwork collection) of these clippings session, and advo-dance or advo-concert.
and glue them on cardboard backings. To
protect them from being torn, you can use When to throw an advo-party
clear tape to tape over these clippings. This When you want to advocate at the community
is called home-made lamination: cheap and or national level, you can throw an advo-party.
easy to do! You can then add your headings As an advocate you can use the art of music
and decorations. Be careful not to overcrowd to attract large numbers of people and get
the collage with your decorations or you may your message across in a fun-filled way! This
reduce the effect of the collage itself. requires a lot of organisation and planning
and depends on the support of the local
A documented response can be a very
interesting and educational way of advocating,
but you need to have a plan as to what will be How to throw an advo-party
the end product of the effort. A documented
response is incomplete unless there are action Contact all persons you would like to be
plans for future developments. For example, involved in the session. Inform community
do you intend to write a petition or a position members. Include the time (from start to end)
paper to influence a political declaration in the of the session, the location and date. Also
interest of the response? You have to take all include arrangements for clean up once the
session ends.

Advocacy Toolkit 41
Make contact and follow-up calls with artistes, you from having to organise and host the
master of ceremony (MC), as well as any other sporting activity yourself.
relevant personnel that should know about
the session.
Sportin lots
Even though it’s being held in the community,
do not take for granted that all members know
events p nities for
of oppor ey attract lots
about the session. You should advertise your
session and encourage people through ‘word
es. Th ns
of mouth’ to attend. advocat ters, which mea e
r id
of suppo r message outs
taking y al spheres and
After the event post a note of gratitude on the
community notice board, thanking members
for their support and encouraging them to the usu ing to the
continue supporting the cause. If another appeal dience.
session is planned, include its time and date.
target a
Advocating through Sports
It is always wise to notify the organisers of
This includes organised walks, runs, race- the activity of your intention to piggyback.
meets, dominoes tournaments, cycling, In some cases you may even have to obtain
football, netball, volleyball, dog walks and permission before you piggyback. In other
chess tournaments to obtain public support cases advocates just carry out a publicity
for a cause. You may use just about any stunt (a spectacular public act done to get
sporting activity that involves youth and attention). At times this can be dangerous to
adults. self and others and often results in disruption
of the event. You run the risk of being charged
Sporting events present lots of opportunities and jailed if you impede the freedom of
for advocates. They attract lots of supporters, expression of others while carrying out your
which means taking your message outside work.
the usual spheres and appealing to the target
audience. Using sports to advocate does however
provide a very effective way of reaching your
You can organise your advocacy events peers and the many adult sport fans, and it
around any sporting activity. A cool idea is to shows a connection between all issues and at
‘piggyback’ on these activities which will save all levels.

Internet Advocacy advocating. You could be, for example,
advocate4life001@yahoo.com and others
The internet presents the world at your finger could be advocate4life002@yahoo.com and so
tips and gives you the chance to tap into it on. This has a nice ring to it!
with just a single click!
You can also create a website for your cause.
In order to use the internet, you just need to This is where your networking skills will be
be familiar with it. You do not need to own required. If for whatever reason you are unable
a computer to do so, as there is an increase to create a website, then you may request
in the number of internet cafés in towns and sponsorship from a web design company.
communities. You can use these
facilities. Numerous schools now have
internet resources; if you cannot access
them, visit the nearest parish library
where all the fees are standard and
relatively inexpensive. You can use the
internet at your parents’ work place on
a not so busy day or at the house of a
trusted friend.

Get an e-mail address! You can create

one by using a number of websites
such as yahoo.com, gmail.com,
hotmail.com, gojamaica.com, among
others. Select a username that reflects
your position as an advocate.

For example: Web design usually is very expensive. If you

advocate4life@yahoo.com are not able to do so at the moment, still keep
documents on file for future reference.
peaceadvocate@gmail.com You may also use your e-mail address/account
staypositive@hotmail.com to send free text messages to cell phones on
just about any cellular network. You can use
It would be cool to create an e-mail chain this to send reminders as well as updates and
among your peers for the purpose of advertise events.

Advocacy Toolkit 43
When to Use
Advocacy Tools
Apply the Advocacy Tree
Test Through all your
advocacy work: Try to
At times you will have to pretend that that build bridges and leave positive
trees represent targets (see section 2) you have footprints so that those who
identified to help you with your cause. follow after you will have
a bright path to trod. For
There are many different trees in Jamaica. every kindness, remember to
What if you wish to climb a tree? There are say thank you.
certain things to take into consideration. Try
these for tree climbing!

 Some trees may be Macka Tree (filled with

thorns/macka). You may think twice about
climbing these trees. You may want to go
back to where you started and get some Then you have no choice but to accept the
‘backitive’ or extra padding to support the fallen fact. However, you do have lots of
climb. Some targets are not easy to climb or strong branches to climb on and pick the
approach. fruit you need. But be careful since bad
fruits are still on the tree!
 Some trees are already cut down: you
wouldn’t want to waste time climbing  Some trees are not trees at all; they are
those! Would you? vines. Like the cho-cho. It wraps itself to a
strong tree and if you are not careful you
 Some trees are like coconut trees, tall
climb it, only to fall. This is where you have
without many supportive branches. The
to be very selective in which branch you
top of these trees may seem to be way out
hold on to.
of your reach. Get help; seek the support
of a brace. Find someone who has climbed  Then some trees are really wis-wis. You
a coconut tree before and find out what travel through them merrily and you seem
methods they use. Be creative! Set your to be getting somewhere then you realise
own trends! you are in the middle of nowhere or right
where you started. At worst the wis-wis will
 Some trees are like star-apples trees.
often tie you up in your own tracks making
Nothing falls off until it is not fit for eating.
it impossible to get out!

In l&
tive Policy
Frameworks for
Jamaican Youth

This appendix of the toolkit summarises

youth-related aspects of important national
laws or declarations and international
agreements that may be of relevance to you in
conducting advocacy activities. Having a basic
knowledge of the national and international
commitments affecting Jamaican youth will
provide a foundation for youth-led evaluation
of the progress that is achieved on behalf
of youth. The participation of young people
themselves in assessing youth development
policy is critical, because it provides a starting

ver the years, Jamaica has adopted
a range of agreements on the issues
of adolescent reproductive health, human
point for meaningful advocacy.

Also, youth advocates who are familiar with

rights as well as adolescent and youth rights national and international commitments
as set out in several international and national can prioritise their advocacy goals in favour
instruments. As an advocate, you need to be of policy issues that are weak or in need of
aware of these past agreements so that you amendments. There are many competing
have a legal standard or example that may be issues that may overwhelm the youth
of importance in present or future situations. advocate. He/she must therefore carefully

Advocacy Toolkit 45
choose the policy issues that will result in The National Youth Policy, while targeting
relevant changes in the society. young people aged 15–24 (youth), recognises
the need to utilise the life-cycle approach
Finally, this appendix was included primarily to strengthen the development of Jamaica’s
to motivate youth advocates to initiate actions human capital. In this regard, the Policy
at the national and international levels. Many accepts that there is continuity between
youth advocates believe they are unable to the stages of physical, emotional and
change the course of a nation or lobby for psychological development of human beings
international actions to be taken on youth and that these changes are most pronounced
issues. Having an understanding of the issues in the early stages of life.
opens the door for more youth research
and hopefully more advocacy action at the The Policy has six focal areas: education and
national and international levels. training; employment and entrepreneurship;
health; participation and empowerment; care
and protection; and living environment.
The National Youth Policy
(2004) Education and training

 Promote universal access to quality
his policy represents the Government
secondary education;
of Jamaica’s commitment to the
development of an environment that fully  Advocate for an education system that
uses the potential of each young Jamaican. is relevant to the needs of youth and
Specifically, the Policy defines a common potential employers;
vision and framework for youth development,
 Foster participation of students in the
speaks to the roles and responsibilities
administration of their institutions;
of youth in their personal and national
development and serves as a tool for  Facilitate increased access to quality
advocating for positive youth development. It training opportunities in skills relevant to
is expected that the National Youth Policy will the global market place and use of cultural
assist in promoting a culture of positive youth and indigenous products;
development and participation in decision-  Develop and implement a programme
making around activities that affect the lives for identifying and supporting youth with
of youth and increase the ability of service special needs;
providers to provide accessible, relevant and
 Develop and implement strategies to
high quality services for young people and
their families. improve male performance up to the
secondary level and matriculation to the
tertiary level;

 Promote schools as community
empowerment points and safe zones.

Employment and entrepreneurship

 Increase the employability of youth;

 Increase the number of employment

opportunities for youth;

 Foster an environment conducive to

the creation of opportunities for self

 Create through advocacy networks a
supportive policy environment that fosters  Advocate for the provision of the highest
positive health outcomes; quality services for those who need care
 Improve knowledge, influence, attitudes and protection;
and selected priority health practices and  Facilitate the successful re-integration of
behaviours; all youth who are in special care with their
 Improve access to and quality of health family and society;
services.  Advocate for the full implementation of the
provisions of the National Plan of Action for
Participation and empowerment
Youth Justice in Jamaica.
 Enhance the capacities of young people to
participate in societal processes; Living environments
 Provide spaces and opportunities to  Promote the strengthening of families
increase participation; to provide a supportive environment for
youth development;
 Enhance cultural dynamism through
opportunities for creative expression and  Promote the strengthening of community
unique Jamaican talents. programmes to support families;

 Advocate for a culture supportive of youth

Care and protection
 Prevent those at risk from needing care and

Advocacy Toolkit 47
The Youth Policy also outlines some of the  Care for, support and protect those less well
rights and responsibilities that each Jamaican off;
youth should enjoy.
 Advocate for their development.

All Jamaican youth have the right to:

 Life; The Child Care and

 Freedom from discrimination;
Protection Act (2004)

An identity, name and nationality;

Freedom of expression, culture and religion;


his Act seeks to protect the rights
of Jamaican children to quality
education, healthy lifestyles, and protection
 Basic healthcare and education; from abuse, violence and neglect and also
 Be protected from abuse—physical and from HIV/AIDS. The overall goal of the Act is
psychological; to ensure that children can live full productive
and useful lives. The Act makes provisions for:
 Participate in decision making that affects
 The establishment of an Office of Children’s
their well-being;
Advocate to act in legal matters on behalf
 Opportunities to optimise their growth and of children.
 The establishment of a central Children’s
 Access to services and information that will Registry for the reporting of abuse of
enhance their development. children.

All Jamaican youth have the responsibility  Formulation of standard principles to be

to: upheld in dealing with matters affecting
children: The standards are founded on the
• Take ownership of their future and decision
tenets of the International Convention on
making that affects their well-being;
the Rights of the Child.
 Take advantage of opportunities to
 Parental responsibility and government
develop and participate in decision-making
support for the welfare of children.
 Increased penalties for violations of the
 Acquire the best education possible;
rights of children and other offences under
 Respect themselves, others and the the Act.
Jamaican law recognises children as any
 Be good citizens and contribute to social
person between 0 and 18 years. The Child Care
and economic development;
and Protection Act provides protection for any

person who falls into this age group and gives Offence Penalty
specific attention to the following categories
Cruelty and neglect J$1 million or 12
of children:
months’ imprisonment
 Children in need of care and protection:
Carnal abuse and Capital and non-capital
those who are in danger of being, or have
murder punishment
been, abandoned, neglected or abused;
Child labour J$500,000 or 6 months’
 Children in conflict with the law: those who
imprisonment at hard
have committed offences and are brought labour
before the Court;
Publishing the identity J$1 million or 12
The Act also outlines offences against children of a child months’ imprisonment
and the penalties that can be handed down.
Operating private and J$500,000, 6 months’
Offences include: government homes imprisonment or both
without a license
 Physical abuse, ill treatment and emotional
abuse; Operating private and J$250,000 or 3 months’
government homes imprisonment if
 Sexual/carnal abuse; without allowing payment is not made
 Child labour; inspections

 Aggravated assault and murder;

 Failure to report suspected abuse; The Education Act (1980)

 Administrative offences (unauthorised

disclosure of reports);

Publishing the identity of a child (it is an


he Education Act mandates that parents
take full responsibility for the education
of their children. It states that it is “the duty of
offence to publish a report of any children’s the parent of every child of compulsory school
Court proceedings which reveals details age residing in a compulsory education area
such as name, address, school or picture, to cause him to receive full time education
leading to the identification of a child who suitable to his age and ability….” Some of the
is a victim, the subject of dispute before a provisions made in the Act include:
Court, a witness or the accused, unless the
Court orders that this be done); Age of admission to public
educational institutions
 Operating a private or government home
without a license or inspection.  Pre-primary school: four years

 Primary or all-age school: six years

 Secondary school: 11 years

Advocacy Toolkit 49
 Technical school: 13 years  Suspend the student for a further period
not exceeding five school days beyond the
 Vocational school: 15 years
period of suspension already given;
 Agricultural vocational school: 15 years
Suspension of students  Instruct the principal to exclude
The principal of a public educational permanently the student from attending
institution may suspend from the institution, that institution and shall inform the
for a period not exceeding ten days, any Minister of such action.
student: At any hearing by the Board into the conduct
 Whose conduct in his/her opinion is of such of a student who has been suspended, the
a nature that the student’s presence in that student and parent or guardian shall have
institution is having or is likely to have a the right to be present, and if the student is
detrimental effect on the discipline of the aggrieved by a decision of the Board, he/she
institution; may appeal to the Minister.

 Who commits any act which causes injury Exclusion of students

to any member of staff or to any other
A student may be excluded from attending a
student in that institution.
public educational institution on the following
Where a principal suspends a student, he/she premises:
shall forthwith:  If efforts to improve the conduct of the
 Give notice of the suspension to the student fail;
student council and the parent or guardian  If he/she is known to be suffering from a
of that student; and communicable disease or infestation;
 Make a report to the Board, stating the  If a student becomes pregnant.
reasons for the suspension.
Student councils
On receipt of the report, the Board shall, during
Every public educational institution shall
the period of the suspension, investigate the
have a student council which shall consist of
matter and after investigation, may:
elected representatives of students with at
 Reinstate the student with or without a least one staff advisor being selected by the
reprimand or a warning to the student students. Through the student council at the
and, where appropriate, to his parent or secondary and tertiary levels, the students
guardian; shall have the right to:

 Democratically elect their own Counselling provisions by health
representatives; professionals
 Have representation on the Board of the The heath professional has an ethical
institution; obligation to:
 Meet with the principal and staff or both on  Ascertain whether the minor is in the care
any matter affecting students’ interest; and and control of a parent or guardian;
 Hold regular meetings to conduct business  Seek to persuade the minor to involve
on their behalf, but with due regard to the his/her parent or guardian;
smooth functioning of the institution.
 Determine whether the minor does not
wish the health professional to inform
The Policy Guidelines his/her parent or guardian;
for Health Professionals  Respect the minor’s wishes (if s/he is not so
Providing Contraceptives inclined) not to involve his/her parent or
to Persons under 16 Years,
Adopted by the Ministry of  Provide contraceptive-related services
(where his or her best interests warrant this)
Health (2004) such as confidentiality, non-judgmental

health information and respect.
he main purpose of the policy is to
establish reproductive health policy
Promoting abstinence
guidelines for the provision of contraceptive
advice, counselling and treatment to persons  The health professional should firstly
under 16 years by health professionals at promote the delay of initiation of sexual
a health facility. The policy speaks to the intercourse with full explanation of the
following: benefits of abstinence for the individual.

Registration of individuals Providing non-surgical

A clerk or other staff member of the health contraceptives
facility will: The health professional should exercise
 Register any individual requesting services, his/her best judgment in determining that the
whether or not the person is accompanied individual:
by an adult, has a referral or visits on  Is likely to begin or continue having sexual
individual volition; intercourse with or without the use of
 Direct such person to a health professional. contraception;

Advocacy Toolkit 51
 Physical and/or mental health are likely to treatment of students and school personnel
suffer unless s/he receives contraceptive infected with HIV/AIDS;
advice or treatment;  Promote the use of universal precautions in
 Is given detailed and clear information all potentially infectious situations;
on all non-surgical contraceptive options  Ensure the provision of systematic and
available (including information on any side consistent information and educational
effects); material on HIV/AIDS to students and
 Receives preferred choice of non-surgical school personnel throughout the system;
contraception;  Reduce the spread of HIV infection;
 Understands the nature and the effects of  Instil non-discriminatory attitudes towards
the treatment given; persons with HIV/AIDS.
 Is encouraged to use dual protection
to reduce the risk of acquiring sexually The Policy aims to address the following areas:
transmitted infections.
1. Non-discrimination and equality
 No student or staff member with HIV/AIDS
The National Policy for may be discriminated against directly or
HIV/AIDS Management indirectly.
in Schools, Adopted by the  Students and school personnel with HIV/
Ministry of Education and AIDS should be treated in a just, humane
Youth (2001) and life-affirming way.
 Any special measure in respect of a student


he HIV/AIDS National Policy for
Schools was created in 2001 to address
the global spread of HIV/AIDS, the level of
or staff member with HIV should be fair
and justifiable in light of medical facts,
established legal procedures and principles,
the epidemic in Jamaica and the initiation of ethical guidelines, the best interest of
children/students into early sexual behaviour. persons with HIV/AIDS, institutional
The overall goal of the policy is to promote conditions and the best interest of other
effective prevention and care within the students and school personnel.
context of the educational system. The
objectives of the Policy are to:  To prevent discrimination, all students
and school personnel should be educated
 Highlight the existence of the HIV/AIDS about fundamental human rights as
epidemic in Jamaica and in particular the contained in the Constitution of Jamaica
education system; and the UN Convention on the Rights of the
 Provide guidelines for institutions on the Child.

2. HIV/AIDS testing, admission and
 No student may be denied admission to
or continued attendance at an institution
because of his or her HIV/AIDS status.

 No staff member may be denied the right

to be appointed to a post or promoted
because of his or her HIV/AIDS status.
Nor shall HIV/AIDS status be a reason for
dismissal or for refusing to renew any staff
member’s employment contract.

 There is no medical justification for routine

testing of students or educators for proof
of HIV infection. The testing of students for
HIV/AIDS as a prerequisite for admission to,
or continued attendance at an educational
institution is prohibited. The testing of staff
members as a prerequisite for appointment disclose his or her HIV/AIDS status to the
or continued service is also prohibited. institution or employer.

 Voluntary disclosure of a student’s

3. Attendance at institutions by or educator’s HIV/AIDS status to the
students with HIV/AIDS appropriate authority should be
 Students with HIV have the right as any welcomed, and an enabling environment
other to attend educational institutions. should be cultivated in order to facilitate
The needs of students with HIV/AIDS with this disclosure. Confidentiality of such
regard to their right to basic education information must be ensured and any form
should as far as if reasonably practicable be of discrimination is prohibited.
accommodated in the school or institution.  Unauthorised disclosure of HIV/AIDS-
 Students with HIV/AIDS are expected to related information could give rise to legal
attend classes in accordance with statutory liability.
requirements for as long as they are able.  If a medical doctor advises that a child
living with HIV/AIDS poses a significant
4. Disclosure and confidentiality
health risk to others, the principal may
 No student (or parent on behalf of a apply to the Minister of Education to act
student) or educator is compelled to under Section 24 of the Education Act.

Advocacy Toolkit 53
5. Education on HIV/AIDS be given appropriate information and
training on HIV transmission, the handling
 A continuing Health and Family Life (HFLE)
and use of first aid kits, the application of
and HIV/AIDS education programme
universal precautions and the importance
must be implemented at all schools and
of adherence to these precautions.
institutions for all students and school
personnel. Age-appropriate education on 7. Prevention measures related to
HIV/AIDS must form part of the curriculum play and sport
for all students and should be integrated
in the HFLE programme for pre-primary,  Sports participants, including coaches, with
primary and secondary school students. HIV/AIDS must seek medical counselling
before participating in sports in order to
 Education and information regarding assess risks to their own health as well
HIV/AIDS must be given in an accurate as the risk of HIV transmission to other
and scientific manner and in language participants.
and terms that are understandable.
Participatory methods of learning including 8. Refusal to study with or teach a
games, role play and drama are more student with HIV/AIDS, or to work
effective. Children should be expected to with or be taught by an educator
ask questions and to expect reasonable, with HIV/AIDS
comprehensible and appropriate answers.
 Refusal to study with a student, or to work
6. A safe institutional environment with or be taught by school personnel with,
or perceived to have HIV/AIDS should be
 The Ministry of Education will ensure that pre-empted by providing accurate and
provisions are in place for all institutions understandable information on HIV/AIDS
to implement universal precautions to to all staff members, students and their
eliminate the risk of transmission of all parents.
blood-borne pathogens, including HIV, in
educational institutions.  Where the incidence of refusal arises,
the situation should be resolved by the
 All schools and institutions will provide principal in accordance with the principles
training in first aid for students, teachers contained in this policy, the Education Act
and staff and require the availability and and other relevant legislation and policies.
maintenance of at least two first aid kits.

 All students, educators and other staff

members, including sports coaches, will

Policy for the Management Convention on the
of Substance Abuse in Elimination of All Forms
the Education System of Discrimination against
(September 2004) Women (CEDAW) Adopted
by the UN General Assembly

he purpose of this policy is to ensure
the health, safety and welfare of the
students, teachers and other stakeholders
in December 1979; Signed
by Jamaica in July 1980 and
being served by the school, specifically in Ratified in October 1984
relation to the issue of substance abuse. In the
event that a student is found guilty of abusing CEDAW is the first international document
any particular substance(s), the policy outlines to concentrate exclusively on the political,
the following courses of action as measures economic, cultural, social and family
that can be taken: rights of women. The Convention defines
 Organised in-school monitoring, discrimination against women as “…any
distinction, exclusion or restriction made
 Community service, on the basis of sex which has the effect
 In-school suspension, or purpose of impairing or nullifying the
recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women,
 Referral to other educational or treatment
irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of
equality of men and women, of human rights
 Suspension after all reasonable attempts and fundamental freedoms in the political,
at in-school rehabilitation and due process economic, social, cultural, civil or any other
in accordance with Regulation 30 of the field.”1
Education Regulations,
One of the drawbacks to CEDAW is that it does
 Separation after all reasonable attempts at
not specifically address youth; however, quite
in-school rehabilitation and due process,
a few of its articles delve into some specific
 Referral to law enforcement, concerns of young women. Therefore, you may
find the following articles to be of importance:
 Other reasonable and pertinent sanctions.
Article 10: ‘States shall take all appropriate
measures to eliminate discrimination…in
particular to ensure, on a basis of equality
of men and women…the reduction of

M Hemmati and K Seliger, eds., The Stakeholder Toolkit: A Resource for Women and NGOs [UNED Forum],

Advocacy Toolkit 55
female student drop out rates and the law. The CRC makes the following provisions
organisation of programmes for girls and for children and adolescents:
women who have left school prematurely.’
1. Non-discrimination: All rights apply to all
Article 10: Women are entitled to ‘Access to children without exception. It is the state’s
specific educational information to help obligation to protect children from any
to ensure the health and well-being of form of discrimination and to take positive
families, including information and advice action to promote their rights.
on family planning.’2
2. Best interests of the child: All actions
Article 16: Women have ‘the same right concerning the child must take full
freely to choose a spouse and to enter account of his or her best interests. States
into marriage only with their full and shall provide the child with adequate care
free consent. Women also have the right when parents or others charged with that
to decide freely and responsibly on the responsibility fail to do so.
number and spacing of their children
3. Implementation of rights: The state
and to have access to the information,
must do all it can to implement all the
education and means to enable them to
rights contained in the Convention.
exercise these rights.’2
4. Parental guidance and the child’s
Convention on the Rights of evolving capacities: The state has a duty
to respect the rights and responsibilities
the Child (CRC), Ratified by of parents and the wider family to provide
Jamaica in May 1991 guidance which is appropriate to a child’s
evolving capacities.


he CRC was adopted by the General
Assembly in November 1989 and has
since been the most widely and rapidly
5. Survival and development: Every child
has the inherent right to life, and the state
ratified human rights treaty in history.3 It has an obligation to ensure the child’s
is also the first international human rights survival and development.
convention that incorporates the full range 6. Name and nationality: A child has the
of human rights—civil, political, economic, right to a name at birth. The child also has
social and cultural. The Convention represents the right to acquire a nationality and as far
international consensus on the rights of the as possible, to know his or her parents and
child and applies to all children up to the age to be cared for by them.
of 18 or as otherwise stipulated by national

United Nations, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women [Text],

New York: Author, 1970; http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/text/econvention.htm.

UNICEF, Voices of Youth: Be in the Know [CRC Fact Sheet],


7. Preservation of identity: The state is 14. Freedom of association: Each child has
obligated to protect and, if necessary, a right to meet with others or to join or
re-establish the basic aspects of a child’s form associations.
identity. This includes name, nationality
15. Protection of privacy: Children have the
and family ties.
right to protection from interference with
8. Separation from parents: Each child privacy, family, home, correspondence
has the right to live with his/her parents and from libel or slander.
unless such is deemed incompatible with
16. Access to appropriate information:
his/her best interest. The child also has
The state shall ensure the accessibility
the right to maintain contact with both
of children to information and material
parents if separated from one or both.
from a diversity of sources, and it shall
9. Family re-unification: Children and encourage the mass media to disseminate
their parents have the right to leave any information which is of social and cultural
country and to enter their own for the benefit to the child and take steps to
purpose of re-union or the maintenance protect him or her from harmful materials.
of the child-parent relationship.
17. Parental responsibility: Parents have
10. Illicit transfer and non-return: The joint primary responsibility for raising
state is obligated to prevent and remedy the child, and the state shall provide
the kidnapping or retention of children appropriate assistance to the parents in
abroad by a parent or third party. child-raising.

11. Child’s opinion: A child has the right to 18. Protection from abuse and neglect: The
express his or her opinion freely and to state shall protect the child from all forms
have that opinion taken into account in of maltreatment by parents or others
any matter or procedure affecting the responsible for the care of the child and
child. establish appropriate social programmes
for the prevention of abuse and the
12. Freedom of expression: A child has
treatment of victims.
the right to express his or her views,
obtain information and make ideas or 19. Protection of children without families:
information known regardless of frontiers. The state is obliged to provide special
protection for a child deprived of the
13. Freedom of thought, conscience and
family environment and to ensure that
religion: The state shall respect the child’s
appropriate alternative family care or
right to freedom of thought, conscience
institutional placement is available in
and religion, subject to appropriate
such cases. Efforts to meet this obligation
parental guidance.
shall pay due regard to the child’s cultural

Advocacy Toolkit 57
20. Adoption: In countries where adoption 26. Standard of living: Every child has the
is recognised and/or allowed, it shall only right to a standard of living adequate for
be carried out in the best interests of the his or her physical, mental, spiritual, moral
child and then only with the authorisation and social development.
of competent authorities and safeguards
27. Education: The child has a right to
for the child.
education and the state’s duty is to
21. Refugee children: Special protection ensure that primary education is free
shall be granted to a refugee child or and compulsory, to encourage different
to a child seeking refugee status. It is forms of secondary education accessible
that state’s obligation to cooperate with to every child and make higher education
competent organisations which provide available to all on the basis of capacity.
such protection and assistance. School discipline shall be consistent with
the child’s rights and dignity. The state
22. Disabled children: A disabled child has
shall engage in international cooperation
the right to special care, education and
to implement this right.
training to help him/her enjoy a full and
decent life in dignity and achieve the 28. Aims of education: Education shall aim at
greatest degree of self reliance and social developing the child’s personality, talents
integration possible. and mental and physical abilities to the
fullest extent. Education shall prepare
23. Health and health services: The child has
the child for an active adult life in a free
the right to the highest standard of health
society and foster respect for the child’s
and medical care attainable. States shall
parents, his or her own cultural identity,
place special emphasis on the provision
language, values and for the cultural
of primary and preventive health care,
background and values of others.
public health education and the reduction
of infant mortality. They shall encourage 29. Children of minorities or indigenous
international cooperation in this regard people: Children of minority communities
and strive to see that no child is deprived and indigenous populations have the
of access to effective health services. right to enjoy their own religion and
24. Periodic review of placement: A child
who is placed by the state for reason of 30. Leisure, recreation and cultural
care, protection or treatment is entitled to activities: The child has the right to
have that placement evaluated regularly. leisure, play and participation in cultural
and artistic activities.
25. Social security: The child has the right
to benefit from social security, including 31. Child labour: The child has the right to
social insurance. be protected from work that threatens his

or her health, education or development. 37. Armed conflicts: States/parties shall
The state shall set minimum ages for take feasible measures to ensure that
employment and regulate working children under 15 years of age have no
conditions. direct part in hostilities. No child below 15
shall be recruited into the armed forces.
32. Drug abuse: Children have the right
States shall also ensure the protection
to protection from the use of narcotic
and care of children who are affected by
and psychotropic drugs and from
armed conflict as described in relevant
being involved in their production or
international law.
38. Rehabilitative care: The state has an
33. Sexual exploitation: The state shall
obligation to ensure that child victims
protect children from sexual exploitation
of armed conflicts, torture, neglect,
and abuse, including prostitution and
maltreatment or exploitation receive
involvement in pornography.
appropriate treatment for their recovery
34. Sale, trafficking and abduction: It is the and social reintegration.
state’s obligation to make every effort to
39. Administration and juvenile justice:
prevent the sale, trafficking and abduction
A child in conflict with the law has the
of children.
right to treatment which promotes the
35. Other forms of exploitation: The child child’s sense of dignity and worth, takes
has the right to protection from all forms the child’s age into account and aims at
of exploitation prejudicial to any aspects his or her reintegration into society. The
of the child’s welfare. child is entitled to basic guarantees as
36. Torture and deprivation of liberty: No well as legal or other assistance for his
child shall be subjected to torture, cruel or her defence. Judicial proceedings and
treatment or punishment, unlawful arrest institutional placements shall be avoided
or deprivation of liberty. Both capital wherever possible.
punishment and life imprisonment 40. Respect for highest standards:
without the possibility of release are Wherever standards set in applicable
prohibited for offences committed national and international law relevant
by persons below 18 years. Any child to the rights of the child are higher than
deprived of liberty shall be separated those in the Convention, the higher
from adults unless it is considered in the standard shall always apply.
child’s best interests not to do so. A child
who is detained shall have legal and other
assistance as well as contact with family.

Advocacy Toolkit 59
International Conference on that have a direct impact on their daily lives.
This is especially important with respect to
Population and Development information, education and communication
(ICPD), 1994 activities and services concerning
reproductive and sexual health, including the


he ICPD (also known as the Cairo
Consensus) was held in Cairo, Egypt,
where 179 member states and thousands of
prevention of early pregnancies, sex education
and the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other
sexually transmitted diseases.’
NGOs converged to negotiate a 20-year action
plan for men, women and youth relative to
population and development policies. The The UN Standard Minimum
following were put forth to improve the Rules for the Administration
situation of youth:
of Juvenile Justice (the
Action 5.5: ‘Measures should be adopted and Beijing Rules)
enforced to eliminate child marriages and
female genital mutilation.’

Action 6.8: ‘Countries should give high


he Beijing Rules were adopted by the
UN General Assembly in 1985. They aim
at promoting juvenile welfare to the greatest
priority and attention to…the protection, possible extent, in an effort to minimise the
survival and development of children and necessity of intervention by the juvenile
youth, particularly street children and youth, justice system, and in turn, reduce the harm
and should make every effort to eliminate the that may be caused by any intervention. The
adverse effects of poverty on children and Standard Minimum Rules are deliberately
youth, including malnutrition and preventable formulated so as to be applicable within
diseases. Equal educational opportunities different legal systems and, at the same
must be ensured for boys and girls at every time, to set some minimum standards for
level.’ the handling of juvenile offenders under any
definition of a juvenile and under any system
Action 6.13: ‘Countries should aim to of dealing with juvenile offenders. The Rules
meet the needs and aspirations of youth, are always to be applied impartially and
particularly in the areas of formal and non- without distinction of any kind. Some of the
formal education, training, employment general principles of the Beijing Rules include:
opportunities, housing and health.’
 Member states shall seek, in conformity
with their respective general interests, to
Action 6.15: ‘Youth should be actively
further the well-being of the juvenile and
involved in the planning, implementation
her or his family.
and evaluation of development activities

 Member states shall endeavour to develop
conditions that will ensure for the juvenile
a meaningful life in the community, which,
during that period in life when she or he is
most susceptible to deviant behaviour, will
foster a process of personal development
and education that is as free from crime
and delinquency as possible.

 Sufficient attention shall be given to

positive measures that involve the full
mobilisation of all possible resources,
including the family, volunteers and other
community groups, as well as schools
and other community institutions, for the
purpose of promoting the well-being of
The International Covenant
the juvenile, with a view to reducing the on Civil and Political Rights
need for intervention under the law and (ICCPR), Signed by Jamaica
of effectively, fairly and humanely dealing
in 1966 and Ratified in 1975
with the juvenile in conflict with the law.

 Juvenile justice shall be conceived as an

integral part of the national development
process of each country, within a

o date, the ICCPR forms one of the main
sources of international law that is
applicable to Jamaica, allowing for the
comprehensive framework of social justice following:
for all juveniles, thus, at the same time,  The right to life;
contributing to the protection of the young
 The right to freedom of speech;
and the maintenance of a peaceful order in
society.  The right to freedom of assembly;
 These Rules shall be implemented in the  The right to freedom of conscience;
context of economic, social and cultural
 The right to freedom of religion;
conditions prevailing in each Member state.
 Freedom from slavery, torture, inhumane or
 Juvenile justice services shall be
degrading treatment, forced or compulsory
systematically developed and coordinated
labour and arbitrary arrest;
with a view to improving and sustaining
the competence of personnel involved  The right to due process under the law;
in the services, including their methods,
approaches and attitudes.

Advocacy Toolkit 61
 The right to the presumption of innocence the need for special measures of protection
during legal proceedings; and assistance to be taken on their behalf.
It refers to the right of young persons to
 The right to equal treatment before the law.
be protected from economic and social
These provisions are broad and can be exploitation. It mentions that any employment
enjoyed by adults, children and youth. in work which could be harmful to their
However, the ICCPR also makes special morals or health, dangerous to life or could
provision for children by mandating that hamper their normal development, should
persons under the age of 18 should not face be punishable by law and the requirement
the death penalty. Added to this, Articles 14 for countries to set an age limit below which
and 24 make specific reference to adolescents the paid employment of children should be
where they indicate that in any case of a prohibited.
criminal nature involving ‘juvenile persons’,
the procedures shall take account of their The Millennium
age and the desirability of promoting their
Development Goals (MDGs),
Adopted by the UN General
The International Covenant Assembly in 2000
on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (ICESCR),

J amaica was a party to the adoption of the
MDGs. There are eight goals (four have
direct relevance to children and youth),
Ratified by Jamaica in 1975 including:


he ICESCR addresses, among other
 Achieve Universal Primary Education: This
goal seeks to ensure that by 2015, children
everywhere, boys and girls alike, complete
 The right to an adequate standard of living
for self and family, a full course of primary schooling.

 Promote Gender Equality and Empower

 Freedom from hunger,
Women: The aim of this goal is to remove
 The right to enjoy the highest attainable gender gaps in primary and secondary
standard of physical and mental health and education, preferably by 2005, and at all
education, levels of education no later that 2015.
 The right to take part in the cultural life of  Reduce Child Mortality: The intention of
one’s country. this goal is to reduce by two thirds the
under-5 mortality rate by 2015.
Article 10 speaks to youth (15–24), thus
including adolescents (15–19), in relation to

 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger: u Provide access to affordable essential
The target of this goal seeks is to reduce by drugs;
half the proportion of people living on less
u Make available benefits of new
than US$1 a day as well as to reduce by half
technologies, especially information and
the proportion of people who suffer from
u Develop an open rule-based,
 Ensure environmental sustainability: This
predictable, non-discriminatory trading
goal seeks to halve by 2015 the number of
and financial system—commitment to
people without sustainable access to safe
good governance, development and
drinking water.
poverty reduction both nationally and
 Develop a global partnership for internationally.
development: This goal seeks to meet the
 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other
following targets:
diseases: This goal seeks to halt and
u Develop and implement strategies for thereafter reverse the incidence of HIV/
decent and productive work for youth; AIDS, malaria and other diseases by 2015.

Advocacy Toolkit 63