Papua New Guinea
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Juvenile justice for abused children

“I feel for the abused children, those coming from problem homes that I like to mentor and see them having a successful life.”

Simple words from senior constable Anna Wills Matane, who is the officer in charge of the Boroko Juvenile Centre.

Snr Const Matane, 50, is from New Ireland and Simbu.

Many parents and guardians know her as someone they can trust with children.

Many police officers know her harsh tone of voice around Boroko station.

She is either screaming at careless PMV drivers on the road or chasing homeless children at the traffic lights outside the Boroko, but everyone knows she has the biggest heart for children.

“I raised my five children alone for 30 years when my husband left me without any support.

We did it alone through life, they are all successful now.

That is the reason why I spent 20 years serving in the juvenile unit making sure problem children are served well.

I make sure they get help and I guide them through and to see them have a successful life,” Snr Const Matane said.

Dealing with juveniles is a difficult task, but Const Matane does her best to utilise available resources and services as she works closely with the juvenile justice officers, the police juvenile prosecutor and the Juvenile Courts and Magistrates.

At times, she accommodates abused children inside her office space before sending them through referral pathways.

She said the management needs to look hard into juvenile justice and do something about this area.

“I have come this far and do not want to leave without seeing any change, especially in the part the RPNGC plays in the juvenile justice system,” she said.

The Juvenile Reception Centre is a temporary holding cell for juveniles whilst processing them and notifying their parents and or support person of their arrest and place of custody and administering the diversion process.

She does not only serve children from NCD, but also Central province.