Palau Launches Comprehensive Report on Child Protection
KOROR, 28 March 2013 – Treat children equally, be a good example to them and show them love and affection are the simple things that children in Palau asked of grown-ups as part of UNICEF’s first assessment on child protection issues for Palau.
Children, youth, teachers, legal workers and religious leaders were consulted when compiling the report which was launched on Monday, March 25.
UNICEF Pacific Chief of Child Protection, Ms. Amanda Bissex said “rarely do we involve children and yet children say things that would keep them safe, such as to have safe places and activities, to stop bullying and violence in schools, and for people to know about and understand child abuse.”
Titled “Domkerreu e Dosebechakl er a Rengalek er a Belau” or “Value and Protect Our Precious Resources: Our Children” the report highlights the current situation of child protection laws, systems and community issues in the country. It also provides a set of recommendations for government and partners to undertake, to ensure that children in their countries grow to their full potential in an environment that is free from violence, abuse and exploitation.
In launching the report, Minister for Health, Mr. Gregorio Ngirmang, shared his experience with child protection services and impressed upon health, justice, public safety, education, community, and other service providers “the need for professionalism and attentiveness in Palau government’s services to ensure Palauan children are protected.”
Ms. Bissex said “violence, abuse and exploitation of children are difficult issues to both openly discuss and to research and that is why this research is so remarkable.”
“Good quality and timely data helps governments to identify what the issues are, who the vulnerable populations are and how best to allocate resources. It helps civil society to understand the dimensions of the issues it faces and how best to plan to address these issues. And it helps organizations such as UNICEF and other international partners to identify where to target our support,” she added.
Evidence from the report shows although 92 per cent of children feel safe in their homes, 22 percent of children report they do not feel safe in their communities and 30 percent of children report being bullied in school. In Palau there is a longing to look at traditional methods to protect children and to safeguard against abuse and neglect of children, but these are not always in place, particularly in urban centers. The country is at a cross-roads and needs to assess the many aspects of its once traditional life and customs, to decide what is good and restored and what is not. The report mentions that Palauan society may have moved so far into adopting Western values and lifestyle to be able to keep them.
Last week, the Republic of Marshall Islands launched their Child Protection baseline, leaving the Federated States of Micronesia the only UNICEF member state in the Northern Pacific left to launch their report.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org
For more information, please contact Donna Hoerder, UNICEF on (679) 3236 100 or firstname.lastname@example.org