A workshop aimed at strengthening the child protection services in Palau was spearheaded by the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs (MCCA) together with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)at Ming’s Hall in Palasia Hotel, Palau on October 31.

Community and Cultural Affairs Minister Baklai Temengil-Chilton, in an interview with Island Times, said that the workshop was the outcome of Palau’s second report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Palau presented the report to the Human Rights Committee last January and had asked for assistance from UNICEF in the monitoring of child protection services in the country.

“This is part of our strategy as a country and as a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and how can we best improve our work and network in our community and in the government, outside of the government and our community to realize the needs and meet the challenges and as well as sustain our services and our work in terms of child protection,” Minister Temengil-Chilton said.

The one-day workshop was attended by various members of civil societies and traditional-based organizations including government agencies in education, health, and justice, among others.

According to Minister Temengil-Chilton, one of the main discussions brought up during the workshop was the need to bridge the gap in the coordination of government agencies and civil societies, among others.

The need to form an interim task force on child protection was also brought up in the discussions during the workshop, according to the Minister. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)