Child protection services lacking in rural communities

Child protection services are lacking in many rural communities in Papua New Guinea.

This was revealed by Save the Children PNG (SCiPNG) following a recent research carried out throughout the country.

The team went out to different areas of NCD, Bougainville, Lae, Goroka and East Sepik and spoke to child protection officers, the children, parents and community leaders to collect a wide range of data.

The data collected will be presented in a report which will be launched next month in Port Moresby.

Country Director for SCiPNG Jennifer El-sibai told PNG Loop that the primary research indicated that front line child protection services providers are only found in the urban centres.

Child protection services include agencies that provide counselling to victims of abuse and those that are able to refer victims to police.

El-sibai said there are definitely more informal systems in place at the rural level to help prevent child abuse like stronger church presence, stronger communities and strong family foundations.

“It is only urban kids that have access to any of those formal services to respond to incidence of abuse.

“And if you’re a child living in a rural location, you’ve got almost zero access to anything outside your family or community that can help you,” El-sibai said.

The research report that will be launched on September 7 will highlight the child protection system, how it functioned in PNG and the different elements of a child protection system in the country. 

Quintina Naime