Friday, August 25, 2017


Jakarta, Aug 25, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia's eastern most province of Papua is far from Jakarta, but the central government is paying special attention to it, particularly to public welfare, and protection of children and women in the province.
        It was with this purpose in mind that the Joko Widodo (Jokowi) administration had appointed Yohana Yembise, an indigenous Papuan, as Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister.
         Yembise has frequently visited Papua Island, comprising the Papua and West Papua Provinces, to participate in public awareness campaigns for the protection of children and women, and to help deal with various associated problems.
        Papua needs special attention, because the children and women on the island have been frequent victims of physical and sexual violence. In 2016, some 2,000 cases of violence against children were reported both in Papua and West Papua Province.
        "Most cases of violence against children include sexual abuse, physical violence and child neglect by parents," Harli Siregar, assistant to local public prosecutor office, said earlier this year.
        Speaking at a function to commemorate National Children's Day in Pekanbaru, Riau Province, on July 23, 2017, Social Affairs Minister Khofifah requested parents to provide the best education, healthcare, love and protection to their children.
         She urged the parents and teachers to not hurt children, but to keep them happy.

         To highlight the important role of the family in child rearing, the Indonesian Government had chosen 'Protection of Children Begin from Family,' as the theme, and "I am Indonesian Children, I am Happy," as the main message.
          Attending a public awareness campaign called "Together to Protect Children," or locally abbreviated into "Berlian," which literally means diamond, in Wamena, Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, recently, the minister remarked that children were the assets of the future of Papua; therefore, they must be protected and looked after.
           The minister also witnessed a declaration on the establishment of the Forum of Jayawijaya Children.
             She also listened to the aspirations of several local children and signed a commitment to develop Jayawijaya District into a child-friendly district, with the cooperation and support of the Jayawijaya administration.
          The minister explained that 323 cities and districts in Indonesia were being developed to become child-friendly areas.
         "Of the 516 cities and districts in Indonesia, there are only 323 districts and cities that are eligible to be child-friendly areas. Therefore, all the regions must achieve the indicators to become child-friendly areas," she stated.
         Of the total number, 126 cities and districts have been awarded for their participation in making the regions child-friendly.
         To encourage cities and districts to be child-friendly areas, Yembise and her entourage visited several places and disseminated information about child-friendly areas, including in the Jayawijaya district.
          She affirmed the government's policies would focus on women and children from the village level to the district level.
          "This official visit shows that the country has remote areas that are difficult to access. We were very happy to meet women, the elderly, community figures, and traditional leaders in Pisugi sub-district and have a discussion with them," she mentioned.
        Yembise stated she had received various inputs after the working visit, including demand for cake-making equipment, aids for pig farms, sewing tools, medical equipment, and educational assistance, in order to realize Jayawijaya as a child-friendly district.
         "We have directly heard from the community about their hopes and received some inputs to be coordinated with the relevant ministry. We will follow up the inputs based on our main tasks and functions as soon as we return to Jakarta. I have already promised the schools on providing facilities, including sports equipment, to fulfill the rights of children, including schooling, playing, and honing their creativity," she remarked.
        She outlined three priority programs of her ministry, namely to end violence against women and children, and to end human trafficking, or popularly called "3Ends" programs.
         The minister hoped that the Forum would help improve public awareness and knowledge of child rearing and protection, meet children's rights and would report if there is violence against children.
          The minister also attended a similar public awareness campaign in Jayapura on Aug 12.
          In Biak Numfor District, also Papua, Minister Yohana Yembise presented children with 2017 birth certificates during a local function to observe National Children's Day, on Aug. 8.
          The Government provided free birth certificates as part of its  responsibility to protect children, and fulfill their rights to grow and develop, Minister Yembise said.
         Biak Numfor is striving to become a child-friendly district, and one of the indicators is by making sure that every child in the district has birth certificate.
         The minister lauded the child friendly program of Biak Numfor under the leadership of District Head Thomas Ondy.
        Children are investment of the nation therefore budget allocation for child development program must be increased, she remarked.
           Bureau of Statistics (BPS), as of March 2016, the number of Indonesians living under the poverty line had reached 28.01 million, and 11.26 million, or 40.22 percent of the total, were children.
           Based on the National Economic Social Survey conducted in March 2016, however, the percentage of underprivileged children in Indonesia was recorded at 13.31 percent. Nearly half of them, or 47.39 percent, live on Java Island. 
  The highest child poverty rate is in the provinces of Papua, West Papua, and East Nusa Tenggara, at 35.57 percent, 31.03 percent, and 26.42 percent, respectively.
        "We need to further study the problem of child poverty, as children are an important and national asset for the future," Suhariyanto, head of the BPS. ***4***

(T.F001/A/BESSR/F. Assegaf) 25-08-2017

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