By GRACE AUKA UPNG journalism student
THE rights of children are important and must be respected.
“To do with courts, we have made it our business to train magistrates on how to deal with children’s issues and also people in communities to help children and make sure that their rights are respected and dealt fairly,” he said.
Deputy chief magistrate Iova Geita said this while speaking on children’s rights under the constitution during the unveiling of the human rights theme and 20 days of human rights activism at Sir John Guise Stadium yesterday.
He explained what juvenile court or children’s court was all about, “juvenile refers to children between the ages of seven and 18 years, stating that according to the law, they must not be punished severely but treated fairly, because one day they will be future leaders of this country.”
“Our government has made sure that we have special courts for children when they have committed a crime they must be treated with respect,” he said
He also said that if there was another law for children, then there must be another court for children.
“This law is championed by Dame Carol Kidu called ‘Lukautim Pikinini Court’, which will be managed by the district and national courts,” he said.
The law is to make sure that children’s interests are protected. Under that law, the magisterial services have made it their business to train correctional services personnel, especially the warders, to make sure that children are treated very fairly.
He called on everyone to ensure children’s rights were given important consideration including the courts, magistrates, judges, police and parents.
It was a day of celebration for children from all walks of life.
There were school children from Pari and Waigani Primary schools who participated by reciting inspirational poems on the importance of their rights as children.