The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development Eastern and Southern Caribbean (USAID/ESC) has announced a new US$5.3 million grant to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission to implement the Opportunities to Advance and Support Youth for Success (OASYS) project in the Eastern Caribbean over the next four years.
The project aims to reduce crime and violence rates among young people across the Eastern Caribbean and will focus on strengthening youth justice systems in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, a joint release states.
OASYS will strengthen existing, and invest in new, programmes that provide skills development, psychosocial support, and family interventions for youth in conflict with the law through collaborations with government and non-government partners, civil society organisations, and the private sector.
OASYS will also support partner countries to implement and institutionalize a case management system to monitor young offenders from their initial contact with law enforcement through to his/her successful reintegration into society.
At the project launch in St Lucia, Acting USAID/ESC Regional Representative David Billings emphasized that “The United States is committed to working with the OECS, national governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, and most importantly young people and their communities, to provide opportunities for youth to succeed.”
In her remarks at the signing ceremony, Head of the Human and Social Division for the OECS, Dr Carlene Radix commented: “The OECS and USAID Youth Justice Project expands on earlier initiatives which contributed to the transformation of the child justice landscape, and allows for the strengthening of implementation in the spirit of the existing legislation and with the collaboration of the community.”