One Per Cent of Street Kids are Orphans

By Quinton Alomp – EM TV, Port Moresby

Community Development Minister, Delilah Gore, says one per cent of street kids in Papua New Guinea are orphans.

“Others have parents but are left to fend for themselves on the streets,” Minister Gore said.

She does not give any figures for that percentage, but said all children have a right to education, food, shelter, and to be loved.

With the reviewed child policy “Lukautim Pikinini Act” which is set to be tabled in the next Parliament sitting, children of 18 years and below may have a relevant law that guards them from sexual exploitation, all forms of abuses, labour and discrimination.

The reviewed Act is in line with the United Nation’s child protection policy.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands is the first religious organisation to have a child protection policy. The policy will be implemented by the Catholic congregations in both countries. It was launched yesterday.

Co-author of the policy, Paul Harricknen, says “street children” fending for survival on main streets in towns and cities is an abuse and a human rights issue.

“It needs everyone to address this issue,” Harrickene said.

On the same note, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Outlook 2014, pointed out that the boom in Papua New Guinea’s extractive industries has widened the gap between the rich and poor, thus adding to the street kids scenario.

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