Friday, May 07, 2010

Launch of new publication "Child protection systems, childhood and children in Papua New Guinea with a focus on the Eastern Highlands"

Goroka, May 6, 2010: Division for Community Development of the Eastern Highlands Province and Save the Children organised launching of a new publication “Child protection systems, childhood and children in Papua New Guinea with a focus on the Eastern Highlands”.

More than 60 people including representatives of the provincial government divisions, international and local NGOs, CBOs and FBOs, donor and United Nations agencies, community people from settlement areas, and children attended the launch. 

Save the Children commissioned a review of child protection systems, childhood and children in PNG with an attempt to begin a process of re-evaluation of the circumstances and context of childhood.

Andy West, the author of the review report emphasises that publications issued over the last decade have documented violence against women and children. Focus on gender based violence is necessary, but this focus has led to less attention to being paid to prevailing adult attitudes to children and childhood, and to violence and abuse experienced by all groups of children up to age of 18 years, including boys.  

Lukautim Pikinini Act has brought a new emphasis on the protection of children from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. This requires a better and shared understanding of the context of contemporary childhood in Papua New Guinea and a renewed look at the problems facing children and the status of potential services needed for the implementation of the new Act.

The attitudes of adults towards children and the form of adult-children relationships underlie child protection problems and reactions to them, as pointed out by Andy West. Responding to the problems faced by children is of critical importance not only because of the long term physical and psychological effects and damage caused by violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, but also because children become adults and are likely to repeat such experiences against their own and other children.

The author emphasises that there is a need to look at both how boys and girls learn and how they are supported, undertake responsibilities, and take actions. It is particularly important to look at ideals and development of masculinity and the behaviors expected of men, how they learn it through boyhood, how they learn about femininity, and the roles expected from girls and women.

The study highlights that the contemporary forms of masculinity and femininity in PNG are developed and expressed in an environment of increasing and extensive social change. The outcomes of this social and economic change have altered the nature of childhood, and provide the background for the need to develop an active, comprehensive and operational child protection system.  The author provided with concrete recommendations on developing child protection systems.  

The participants of the launch warmly welcomed the findings and recommendations on developing child protection systems provided in the publication. They discussed ways how to take the recommendations forward.

The representatives of the Division for Community Development of EHP and Save the Children expressed that they will follow up to take concrete actions to realise the recommendations proposed in the publication to prevent and protect children from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in the province.


For more information, please contact:


Josephine Mill

Child Protection Officer

Division for Community Development

Eastern Highlands Province

Phone: 72304900 and


Olonchimeg Dorjpurev

Child Protection Project Manager

Save the Children

Phone: 71501691




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