By NAOMI WASE
THE Department of Religion, Youth and Community Development has launched a bi-annual forum for children in the nation to be able to speak freely.
The launching themed “Let the Children Speak” coincided with the International Children’s Day yesterday.
The first children’s forum will be held on Nov 20 next year.
Speaking at the launching, Religion Youth and Community Development Minister Delilah Gore said the children’s forum was provided for under the Lukautim Pikinini Act. “Papua New Guinea is a party to the convention on the rights of our children and we have domesticated those rights through the Lukautim Pikinini Act 2015,” Gore said.
She said the main focus of the Lukautim Pikinini Act was to ensure that children were protected and have access to their rights.
“Let’s give our children an opportunity to discuss issues that affect them.”
Gore applauded the Peter O’Neill-led government for making the two important rights for children a reality – through tuition fee – free education and free primary health care. United Nations Populations Fund (UNFP) representative Koffi Kouame said: “We’re here to give voice to our children and that is very important.”
United Nations Children’s Fund representative Olushola Ismail said the convention on the child was developed for children to have their full potential.
“It is to ensure that all children are loved, cared for and protected,” Ismail said.
He said Unicef was proud to support the department in the first children’s forum next year.
By NAOMI WASE