PNG children subjected to all forms of violence: Study

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PAPUA New Guinean children are subjected to all forms of violence including physically, emotionally and sexually yet there are no proper systems in place to protect them, a report says.
The Child Protection System in Papua New Guinea study carried out by Save the Children reveals that 70 per cent of children experience emotional violence, another 70 experience physical violence, 50 affected by sexual violence and another 50 were endangered by family violence in their own homes.
The report, launched yesterday and witnessed by stakeholders, states that the rates are “quite high” by world standards.
According to the report, the other forms of violence that PNG children are subjected to include neglect, exploitation, child labour, harmful traditional practices such as early marriage and exposure to family and gender-based violence.
The report stated that there were no nationally representative studies on violence against children in PNG but much of the information was from recent data from Unicef and Medicins Sans Frontieres.
The research, carried out over six months, was held in Central, NCD, Morobe, Autonomous Region of Bougainville and East Sepik.
There is very limited general knowledge and understanding on the existence of and how to access the current child protection system among the population and children to not know who to trust and talk to.
Most child protection issues are either not noticed, not reported or are dealt with by family and community leaders with  focus on keeping the peace between families and on compensation rather than on the needs, voices and rights of children.
The report stated that in some communities, positive practices were used. It states that there is a legal framework for protecting children under the Lukautim Pikinini Act 2015.
However, the practical application of that Act may have unintended negative outcomes such as unskilled case management and potential overburdening of the system.
There is a need to connect this legal framework with the informal community system in order to ensure no harm is done to children.

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