Disharmony Among Agencies Hinders Child Protection

The Jakarta Post, page 3

The promotion of child protection in the country has been facing hurdles thanks to the lack of coordination across various government institutions responsible for the issue, especially those at the national level, an official has said.

The lack of coordination, which had also been blamed for many other problems in the country, had resulted in confusion at the societal level and among actors in the field, Rini Handayani, deputy of child protection from violence and exploitation at the Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, said on Monday.

While acknowledging that the system of child protection in the country was still poor, she asserted that the government was committed to working toward establishing a comprehensive child protection system under the coordination of the Office of the Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister.

Rini said while speaking at the 2016 National Conference on Child Protection on Monday in Jakarta that the Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, as the coordinator for child protection as mandated by the [UN] Convention on the Rights of the Child, has made a list of organizations working on issues related to child protectionThe conference was held 25 years after it was first ratified at the UN convention.

Rini’s comment came as a response to a question from an audience member at the conference, Indonesian Representative to the ACWC for Children’s Rights Yuyum Fhahni Paryani, who had noted that the existing various government institutions had their own programs and officials. She cited, the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI), for instance, had not worked in line with the task forces established by the Social Affairs Ministry. They each have their own programs, they wouldn’t collaborate or integrate at the lowest level, such as in regencies or cities, which creates confusion among the people who would seek their help.

She said that in an attempt to improve efficiency without creating more organizations on the ground, the government will also implement public capacity building to develop a comprehensive community-based child protection system.

The government’s child protection system follows the 2016-2020 National Strategy on the Elimination of Violence Against Children adopted in January this year. The system refers to the six forms of intervention toward the elimination of violence against children as stipulated in the document, namely legislation and policies, existing social and cultural norms in society, childcare, children’s skills and self-resilience, social services and data and information.

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