Spencer said that the sexual exploitation of Jamaica's children, particularly for commercial purposes, was a challenge requiring immediate attention and an "united effort" to solve.
"Any sexual abuse or exploitation of that nature is abhorrent, and should never be condoned in any way, whether it is by turning a blind eye to the situation, or by protecting the perpetrator in any way," the minister said.
He observed that the situation worsens when children are involved, as they are generally abused by the very adults who are responsible for their care.
The health minister said while the Government must take the lead in promoting and protecting children's rights and well-being, the administration could not do it alone. He said that the help and cooperation of families, communities, non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations and the private sector were needed.
"It is essential that we all assume a part of the responsibility if we hope to be successful in tackling this problem," he said, adding that the Government will continue to improve the protection offered to children through multi-agency collaboration and increased dialogue.
Spencer also cited the need to strengthen countries' policies, programmes and the legislative framework to improve the welfare of children, and ensure that their rights are observed and their needs met.