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Child Rights Training in the District of Melanesia

05/10/2011: Papua New Guinea

From 19th to 23rd September, the District of Melanesia conducted a Rights-based Training workshop for its school and youth ministry leaders.  The District has several schools in three countries and a Youth ministry outreach in Papua New Guinea.   The presenters of the course were Br Jim Jolley from FMSI in Geneva, Br Ken McDonald, District Superior of Melanesia, and Mr Chris Lus, the District’s Child Protection Officer.

The aim of the course was to give school principals and deputies in-depth training on Children’s Rights and how to write a policy for their ministry that promotes the safeguarding of children in their care, based on the United Nations Human Rights standards, and in particular, on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

The first part of the program covered the following topics:

  • Human Rights, Conventions, Treaties and the UN System;
  • The Marist place in the UN Human Rights System;
  • A detailed study of the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  • Promoting a Rights-based Approach to Education in our schools;
  • What constitutes abuse; and
  • A study of their National Human Rights Standards and Policies.

The second part of the course provided participants the opportunity to examine the 9 Standards set out in the Marist Institute’s draft Policy on “Keeping Children Safe – Setting Standards for Child protection”.  From there they began formulating a “Keeping Children Safe” policy for their particular school or ministry, in accord with the principles of the CRC and the Marist ethos.

All participants found the experience to be very fruitful and worthwhile and all said that it was a great start to helping them shape up their own school policies so as to reflect the Institute’s own policy on keeping children safe.

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