Child protection

Protection from violence, exploitation and abuse.

UNICEF PNG/2018/Bell

The challenge

Violence, including physical, sexual and emotional violence as well as neglect, is a daily reality for most children in Papua New Guinea, making them feel unsafe in their very own homes and communities. Violence of any kind, be it physical, emotional or sexual can be devastating with short and long-term repercussions on a child’s health and well-being. It impairs children’s cognitive development and perpetuates inequalities. The advent of new technologies, particularly mobile phones and internet access, are also bringing new opportunities and risks.

UNCEF PNG/2018/Mepham
A mother holding her baby's hands.

The child protection system in Papua New Guinea suffers from limited financial and human resources capacity; weak governance and coordination mechanism, inadequate access to both preventive and responsive services as well as lack of reliable data.


Over the last five years, Papua New Guinea has made significant progress in improving legal and policy frameworks for the protection of children that provide a strong foundation for a national child protection system.

UNCEF PNG/2018/Mepham
A mother holding her baby up in the air.

UNICEF works with the Government and partners to support the implementation of these laws and policies to be able to effectively prevent and respond to violence against children; improve access to justice and effect long-term change.

Our Child Protection Programme

UNCEF PNG/2018/Mepham
A mother covering her child's eyes.

Prevention: UNICEF is working with government and faith based organizations to address the underlying causes of violence through supporting the implementation of a positive parenting programme, promoting skills education programmes for adolescents and undertaking community and media based awareness campaigns.

Response: UNICEF’s support in the area of responsive services include strengthening health section capacity to deliver emergency medical care, psychosocial first aid and referral services for survivors of violence, supporting case management system and facilitating the establishment of child friendly court and police services.

Systems Strengthening: UNICEF and its partners take a system’s approach to protection and justice for children, away from “quick” fixes and issue-led projects. Ongoing supports include strengthening of national and sub-national multi-sectoral coordination mechanisms; establishing information and case management systems and as will as provision of technical support to improve governance for child protection.