Improving children’s justice in Papua New Guinea
29 November 2014
PAPUA New Guinea police and legal professionals will be better prepared to investigate and prosecute crimes against children following a workshop in Port Moresby this week.
The workshop shared international best practices for the collection of evidence from children in a sensitive manner.
It will help to improve investigators’ and prosecutors’ interviewing and examining skills to gather high quality evidence from children and others vulnerable to family and sexual violence.
The workshop at Grand Papua Hotel was opened on Monday by Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin, Public Solicitor Fraser Pitpit and the Australian High Commission’s Rod Hilton.
“Both the Office of the Public Prosecutor and the Royal PNG Constabulary identified that improvements in these skills could significantly improve the delivery of justice, particularly for the prosecution of a crime that affects significant numbers of women and children in PNG,” Mr Hilton said.
“It is crucial to respect and encourage these witnesses and survivors to come forward, and, when they are confident to do so, to provide professional investigative services.
Improvements in interviewing and examining techniques will minimise the impact for survivors in having to recall and describe traumatic crimes they’ve experienced and witnessed.”
The workshop, attended by 20 prosecutors and 20 police officers, included sessions on child development and medical evidence in child sexual offences, as well as interviewing and reducing trauma.
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