By Mickey Kavera – EMTV, Port Moresby
Mayor for Lorengau Town, Manus Province, Ruth Mandrakamu was vocal on the rights of a child during the Nuwok Primary School 10th graduation on Tuesday 02nd December, 2014.
She said, responsible parenting in homes has been lacking, resulting in children becoming victims of child abuse.
“Parents are the first teachersat home, but they have left the responsibility to teachers They have failed to be responsible”, she said.
Minister for Religion, Youth and Community Development, Delilah Gore, who was also present during the graduation, supported the call for child protection.
She reminded graduating students and their fellow peers of their rights as children.
“My ministry is working to address this issue. We have reviewed and finalised the new Child Protection Act to be tabled in Parliament early next year,” she said.
Gore said, this new Act will hold parents accountable and give greater protection to every child in Papua New Guinea.
“Parents who deprive their children of their basic rights to school, among others, will be dealt with by the law,” she said.
Children are our biggest assets as a nation. They are tomorrow’s leaders and must be accorded the respect they deserve to protect their welfare.
According to UNICEF, 40 to 75 per cent of children in Papua New Guinea experience violence in their homes. These statistics can be reversed, under this new law.
As a stakeholder, UNICEF has been working closely with the Minister and the Ministry for Community Development to ensure this act is developed and passed in Parliament.