Separate facilities for juveniles: Advisor

Juveniles or people under the legal age of 16 need to be confined in separate facilities, whether it be jail or police holding cell.

Human rights advisor, Dr Carolyn Graydon, says there must be separate facilities for juveniles, supported with educational activities for them.

This is the standard that is practiced internationally however, is a challenge in PNG, especially in the police holding cells and at times the prison facilities due to overcrowding.

In Papua New Guinea jails, there are also the children of women prisoners who were born and raised there.

Dr Graydon says there are no specific international treaty to deal with such but the standard practice was: The child remains with the mother till a required age.

Two institutions that deal with juveniles, located in Popondetta and Wewak, have been closed due to lack of funds.

Their closure now means the juvenile justice act is being breached when juveniles are being sent to prison facilities with older prisoners.

The facility in Port Moresby, located at Hohola, has also been closed due to lack of funding, resulting in minors being remanded at Bomana but in separate buildings from the rest.   

The lack of proper consultation between government agencies over the years has been blamed for this issue and is now something the juvenile justice agencies need to relook.  

(File picture of juveniles at Bomana) 

Sally Pokiton