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Whole-of-nation approach needed to protect children

James Kon

The whole-of-nation approach to protecting children and young people involves cooperation between multiple agencies with each playing an important role.

Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari said this during the launch of the Register of Children in Need of Protection (RCYPNP) under the National Framework for the Protection of Children of Brunei Darussalam (NFCP).

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin officiated the event at the Jerudong Sports Complex.

Hajah Nor Ashikin said, “Alhamdulilah, NFCP has, and will continue to, become the national guide and reference to improve the existing child protection system in Brunei Darussalam.

“Therefore the RCYPNP is a major priority of the NFCP monitoring mechanism as a centralised data system, to assist the government to formulate, monitor and evaluate policies and programmes for protecting children more efficiently.” The MCYS through the Department of Community Development Department (JAPEM) launched the RCYPNP to assist agencies involved in child protection through the identification of children and young people in need of protection as well as to facilitate and aid inter-agency communication and the sharing of information.

To date, 251 active cases have been entered into the system. The data is expected to grow in line with the cases received or referred by each agency.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin officiates the launch of the Register of Children in Need of Protection (RCYPNP). PHOTOS: JAMES KON
Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari gives her welcoming remarks

In addition, the permanent secretary said, “The Children and Young Persons Act also touched on the establishment of a database containing details of children in need of protection. With the RCYPNP, it is hoped that information sharing and communication among involved agencies will be facilitated.”

Under the NFCP, she also revealed, “Four sectoral assessment protocols (SAP) have been created and will be used by the frontliners of each agency for social services, education, health and enforcement sectors in registering and handling of cases involving children and young people who need protection.”

Through each SAP, she said, “Agencies will be able to identify children and young people who need protection; conduct initial screening of complaints received; and establish the level of risk for the reported case systematically using a colour coding system of red, yellow and green.”

She also revealed that the RCYPNP system will be carried out in two phases. The first phase is the utilisation of the system by JAPEM as the agency that oversees the database.

In the second phase, the system will begin to be used by relevant agencies to access their respective data.

On behalf of the MCYS, Hajah Nor Ashikin expressed gratitude and appreciation to the agencies for their role in protecting children in the Sultanate and called on them to support the RCYPNP to ensure the success in its implementation.

Also in attendance was JAPEM Acting Director Mirany Floridzah binti Abdul Rahman along with primary focal agencies and senior officers from the MCYS.

NFCP is a national guideline aimed at developing the existing child protection ecosystem. The framework focusses on children and young people under the age of 18 and sets strategies to address national priorities for child protection through a nationwide and government-wide approach.

The framework also sets out the direction in which the country should focus its investments to improve the protection of children and young people from all types of dangers.

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