Participants of the training in Port Vila. Photo: Simo Warijo
By Sabrina Tabi

The Child Desk Care (CDC) under the Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MoJCS) has recently conducted a Child Protection Referral Pathway training in Port Vila to get service providers to understand what structures are there to support a child who’s been abused.

The training consists of how service providers such as community leaders, police, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and other government agencies can support a child who has been abused, from when the abuse has been reported, until when the perpetrator is caught and punished, to ensuring the child is reintegrated back into the community.

Child Social Welfare (CSW) Coordinator, Tristelle Karae, explained that, most times when a child has been abused and the perpetrator is caught and punished, the child is often neglected.

She states that often, an abuse would affect the child…it will leave them trauma, stress, cause them to have poor academic performance, and most often they would isolate themselves from their everyone around them.

“And we tend to forget about how we can restore the child back into the community…thus this referral program is a very child- focused and child- centred response program that teaches the service provides on what they can do, what steps they follow from start to finish, when they are satisfied that the child had been given enough support,” said Ms Karae.

The CSW Coordinator relayed that this training has already been conducted in SANMA, and MALAMPA, and both had a really good turnout.

“The Area Secretaries, chiefs and other community leaders in these provinces, acknowledged the importance of working together with child desk and other service providers such as the Vanuatu Christian council, Vanuatu Women’s Centre, and others,” she said.

This referral pathway was officially launched in 2021 as part of the National Child Protection Policy, under strategic area 3 organisational structure by the former Prime Minister, and the training is made possible with the help of Save the Children, as explained by the CSW Coordinator.

She acknowledged Save the Children for their continuous support in enabling this training to be conducted with the different provinces throughout the country.

According to Ms Karae, the training will be conducted in the remaining provinces in the upcoming months.