Hela Provincial Education Advisor, Ronny Angu, while addressing a gathering, said children should be carefully and lovingly nurtured, as they are future of the nation.
That they should be allowed to attend schools without threat and intimidation. He asked adults to pledge not to be ignorant when they see a child in distress or when they see schools and teachers affected by tribal fights.
“Children are like buds in a garden and should be carefully and lovingly nurtured, as they are future of the nation. What children learn today will help them grow into responsible citizens,” said Ronny Angu, Hela Provincial Education Advisor.
ICRC Head of Mission in Papua New Guinea Dominik Urban said on this day that children are innocent and they must never be victims or targets of tribal fights.
“On this important day, the International ICRC would like to encourage communities and authorities to protect children,” Dominik said.
“Children are innocent and they must never be victims or targets of tribal fights. They have the right to grow up freely, undisturbed and cheerfully, together with their families. They are not able to protect themselves from outside influence or dangers. Their life and their minds must be free of fear. All adults should be reminded that children’s rights must not be compromised. Society must ensure a better and safer world for all children,” said Urban.
Conflicts and other situations of violence deprive children of food, clean water, healthcare and education, and can have a lasting impact on their development. Children in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea are often faced with the threat of displacement, obstructed access to places of education due to fighting, destruction of medical facilities, schools and more; shadowed by the risk of being pulled into fights to act as scouts or look outs.
The ICRC is working in the Highlands to protect and assist people affected by tribal fights, including children. Through different programs, ICRC tries to ensure that children are not harmed but live with dignity and can access education.
A role play staged by the children depicted how the children are often victimized by tribal fights and deprived of their freedom and safety.