Bishop slams forms of violence against children


THE head bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran church of Papua New Guinea Dr Jack Urame has condemned physical violence and other forms of violence against children in Papua New Guinea, adding that this is a serious issue and a sign of the breakdown of family and societal values.
He was referring to a new report on child protection crisis in the Pacific released at the United Nations High-level Political Forum in New York last month.
An article was published in this paper on July 31.
The Unseen and Unsafe: Underinvestment in Ending Violence Against Children in the Pacific and Timor-Leste report shows that over 70 per cent or four million children across eight countries experience violent discipline at home, including a staggering 2.8 million (75 per cent of the child population) in PNG.
The report details, for the first time, the shocking levels of physical, emotional and sexual violence, as well as neglect faced by children living in the Pacific and Timor-Leste.
“If the report is true about our country, then it does not reflect well on our society, a so-called Christian country,” Urame told The National.
“We will face a lot of problems in the future because we are not helping the children, who are the very future of this nation.
“Children are not given much attention in their upbringing and when they are neglected by their parents, they can easily be abused.
“I appeal to mothers and fathers to be responsible for their children.
“We must change our attitudes when caring for our children.”
Urame said all forms of violence and abuse of children was an indication of how gloomy the future of PNG was.
He called on all churches in the country to speak out on the issue.
“To build up a strong nation in the future, we will have to build up from our children today.
“Never in the past have we read so much about child abuse in the media.
“The church condemns and does not tolerate all forms of violence and abuse towards children. We must all work together now to ensure our children are given the rightful and proper care they deserve.”