PM Drew Attends CARICOM Symposium On Crime And Violence As a Public Health Issue

PM Drew

Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Terrance Drew, is in Trinidad and Tobago for the Regional Symposium on “Violence as a Public Health Issue – The Crime Challenge”. The two-day meeting, April 17 and 18, is taking place at the Hyatt Regency, in Port of Spain.

The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley, is hosting the symposium, with other CARICOM heads, and regional representatives, supporting through their attendance.

The meeting is being held under the theme, “Violence as a Public Health Issue – The Crime Challenge’, and seeks to promote dialogue and regional action aimed at violence reduction and crime prevention.

Dr. Drew, in his capacity as CARICOM’s lead on Health matters, is expected to make brief remarks during Monday’s session.

Prime Minister Rowley, during the Forty-Fourth (44th) Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM earlier this year, agreed to host a special symposium to consider crime and violence as matters of concern in public health. The decision stemmed from a need to improve on the traditional ways of addressing crime and violence, to make significant inroads into curbing crime.

The conventional approach of the criminal justice system focuses on retribution, imprisonment, rehabilitation, and restoration, with the goal of restoring harmony and reintegrating people into society. However, this has resulted in consistently escalating levels of crime and violence, which have been an ongoing concern of CARICOM Heads of Government for several years.

CARICOM’s public health approach seeks to identify the causal factors and preventions where possible, followed by interventions.

The Regional Symposium will also work to emphasize a holistic approach, inclusive of Government, relevant agencies, organizations, businesses, community, families, and individuals- all social sectors.

Topics of discussion over the two-day period include Violence and Health in the Region; Crime and Violence: A Public Health Approach; Mental Health; Trans-national Organized Crime; Using Litigation to Protect Gun Violence – Global Action on Gun Violence; Trans-Border Crime; Education and Youth, Domestic Violence; Economic Inequalities as the Driver of Crime and Violence; Community approaches- Restorative Justice; Sports and Mediation; and the Judicial Perspective- Legislation and Juvenile Justice Reform.

Prime Minister Drew leads St. Kitts and Nevis’ delegation which includes Naeemah Hazelle, Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office; Cecile Hull, Permanent Secretary, National Security; Dr. Sharon Archibald, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Dr. Patrick Martin, Adviser in the Ministry of Health.

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