Act sets benchmark

National, Normal

The National, Monday June 29th, 2015

 THE drafting of the Lukautim Pikinini Act is in order and sets a benchmark for the protection of children in Papua New Guinea, says Secretary Constitutional and Law Reform Commission Dr Eric Kwa.

Kwa said CLRC had helped the Department of Youth, Religion and Community Development draft the bill. 

“The actual Bill took almost took five years. When we came in we got it completed within 12 months. It is now in the process of getting the Act through to be certified,” he said.

“Our partners First Legislative Council is handling the Child Protection Policy and working on the legislation. 

“Child Protection Policy is the mirror for the Lukautim Pikinini Act. There are still the outstanding forms and regulation of the details which are being fine-tuned.

“There needs to be more clarity and new forms would be required which is what the the Legislative Council is working on now.

“We have a committee comprising CLRC, Public Solicitor, Community Development, Department of Justice and Attorney General, Office of the Legislative Council, Department of National Planning, Department of Community Development, Correctional Services, police and Juvenile Justice and Public Solicitors Office.

“All these relevant partners have been working on the draft Act which repelled the Infant’s Act and, Deserted wife’s and Children’s Act.

“For the first time husbands can also claim maintenance and custody over the child. The law will also address issues of child marriages, child labour and pregnant mothers in prison.

“As part of the process of implementing the Pikininin Lukautim Act, a new Family Court would be set up by the Magisterial Services to address cases relating to this.

“It’s parental responsibility for their children and it’s good that this law is addressing both parents to be responsible.”