Village Courts have some jurisdiction under the Village Courts Act (1989) and Village Courts Amendment Act (2013).
Many of the village courts need to familiarize themselves with recent laws such as the Lukautim Pikinini Act (2015), the Juvenile Justice Act (2014) and the Family Protection Act (2013).
The Department of Justice and Attorney General, and ChildFund Papua New Guinea, with support from the European Union, have joined hands to strengthening the capacity of the community justice system to address increasing cases of violence against children in Central Province.
This collaboration saw the gathering of over 50 partners and stakeholders for an Inception and Planning Workshop on 18 October.
The workshop was aimed to roll-out a project called: Strongim Justis, Strongim Komuniti in Central Province.
The Project aims to develop the capacities of the court officials and frontline workers such as police and counselors in Central Province.
Meantime, the team Leader for Child Fund, Sally Beadle, reiterated that the overall aim was to increase access to justice for women and children in Central province.
“Importantly, we are not just working with one partner for the child protection system.
“We are aiming to work with village courts in Central Province, with district court, magistrates, with police and community child care protection volunteers and officers who are mandated under the Lukautim Pikinini Act,” she adds.
Through the project, District and Village Court Officials, as well as Police Officers from Central Province will receive training and meet regularly to discuss cases and share experiences.
“You can see it as a multi-dimensional approach to strengthening child protection in Central Province.”
The project will also harness the energy of children and young people from target communities, providing awareness education and inviting them to design awareness materials and carry out awareness in their communities.
This effort to place children and youth at the center of issues affecting them aligns with commitments within the Lukautim Pikinini Act to give children and youth a voice.