All Children have the right to be protected from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. While most children find protection in their families and communities, some children are more vulnerable to suffering harm.
Despite rapid economic development in recent years many issues such as poverty, crime, migration, and exposure to natural disasters are increasingly putting children at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. The advent of new technologies, particularly mobile phones and internet access, are also bringing new opportunities and risks.
The child protection system in Papua New Guinea suffers from a number of barriers: capacities and resources to support families and children at risk are limited, with low funding and a lack of human resources in place to provide services to those in need.
UNICEF in action
UNICEF supports the Government to strengthen national and sub-national child protection systems to effectively prevent and respond to all forms of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of children and improve access to justice through policy support, training and capacity building and targeted delivery of core protection services.
UNICEF supports the law and justice sector, including the informal village court services, to establish a more child-friendly and gender-sensitive justice system for all children who come into contact with the law.
Support is also provided for strengthening the health sector to improve access to comprehensive emergency medical care and psychosocial services for survivors of violence. UNICEF is also working with the Department of Community Development to establish a functioning social welfare system to ensure the safety and well-being of children at risk of or are experiencing harm.
Examples of key protection services currently being supported include the Positive Parenting Program, the End Violence against children campaign and Family Support Centers for provision of medical care and psychosocial support and referral to justices sector.
At central level, UNICEF is supporting national efforts to improve legal and policy frameworks including the development of the Child Protection Act and Child Protection Policy & Strategy. Our program will also support development of regulation on the juvenile justice act and development of alternative care guidelines for child care institutions including safety homes and emergency accommodations for women and children.
UNICEF also supports efforts to enhance Papua New Guinea’s human resources capacity with trainings for police, magistrates, and health workers as well as by providing in-service training to government and civil society organizations workforce engaged in child protection.
In addition, UNICEF supports the establishment of provincial Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee, Juvenile Justice Technical Working Group as well as the Child and Family Services Council.