Child protection officers

​Always involve children in discussions

This was the message from the Department for Community Development and Religion Secretary, Anna Solomon.

Speaking during an intensive child protection training in Kokopo, East New Britain, Solomon said: “My only advice is do not forget our children.

“They have the answer to how they want their future to be.”

She was speaking at a first-of-its-kind training in the New Guinea Islands, which hosted 29 child protection officers from the region.

Child protection officers need proper identification

Central Province Community Development advisor and child protection officer, Tabu Vaira said they are not protected and are often abused when in the communities.

Vaira said this is their biggest challenge, calling on the Department for Community Development, Youth and Religion to address this issue.

“We’ve been welfare officers before, going out to carry out child protection services under police escorts for our safety.

“Speaking from experience, when we get into communities as welfare officers, we are usually abused.