Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

Government and Churches partner to improve access to services for juveniles

The Department of Justice & Attorney General has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Church partners to help juveniles’ access restorative and rehabilitation programs.

The MoU called “Improving Juvenile Justice Services Accessibility through enhanced partnership and community entrustment” was signed in Kokopo today.  The MOU deepens the ongoing partnership between DJAG’s Juvenile Justice Services Branch and the churches to deliver improved juvenile justice services.

The signing highlights the collaboration between church partners, including The Salvation Army and Seventh Day Adventist church, in providing support services and pathways for at risk juveniles.

The MOU was signed by the Department’s Secretary, Dr Eric Kwa, and the New Britain New Ireland Mission of the Seventh Day Adventist church representative, Kenneth Bale and The Salvation Army representative.

Dr Kwa affirmed the role of Churches through the Restorative Justice and Peace Program and commended The Salvation Army’s ongoing work through the Australian-supported Church Partnership Program (CPP), which is part of the Papua New Guinea Australia Partnership.

“We are very pleased to be signing this MOU as it represents the Government’s continued commitment to ensure a holistic approach is taken to help our youth with Church intervention” said Dr. Kwa.

Secretary for Department of Justice and Attorney General Dr. Eric Kwa highlighted the essence of the partnership and the important role of Churches in addressing Law and Order in East New Britain and PNG through the signing of the MOU.

“In this process, we ensure youth have a voice and seek the necessary support through the Juvenile Justice System in order for them to reintegrate back into their communities.”

The MOU guides partners to roll out restorative justice programs including training to build capacity of restorative justice implementers in the provinces, including the Lukautim Pikinini Act (LPA) and other child victim support programs and services.

The Salvation Army and the Seventh Day Adventist church are among seven other mainline churches in Papua New Guinea supported under the CPP that work to improve their organisational capacity, deliver basic health and education services, with a current focus on five key areas:  gender equality and social inclusion, peace and prosperity, disaster risk reduction, and health and education.

For further information, including access to related materials, please contact the Australian High Commission media team: +675 7090 0100