PNG project to stop child labour gets underway

8:41 pm on 28 April 2015

A project to try and stop child labour, begging and trafficking in Papua New Guinea's Port Moresby is under way, with plans to shelter at risk children in safe homes.

The National Captial District Commission says the increased number of children living and working on the street is a growing concern for the city.

The NCDC Youth Desk Coordinator, Rex Buka, says they are working with partners like World Vision to conduct interviews with children, and carefully process them, and return them to their parents and schools.

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Photo: RNZ

He says those who genuinely need care and protection will be recommended to Safe Care Homes, but most children have homes to go to.

"We are just continuing to appeal to the parents, please take note. Make sure you look after your chidlren, don't be careless, don't allow them to be on the street, make sure they're in school, and encourage our kids to be in school, so they will have a better future."

Rex Buka says under the Lukautim Pikinini, or Child Welfare, Act they are able to prosecute parents that are found to be negligent.

He also says this is a long term initiative, and has nothing to do with the city cleaning up before hosting the Pacific Games.

"It's not about Pacific Games that we want to get rid of them or chasing them away. We just want to increase the awareness on their rights. Their well being and their development has to be taken care of by the primary caregiver like their parents. And also we want to reduce the number of children living and working on the street situation."

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