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Child Witness Expert draws Top Thais to NZ

18 September 2000 Media Statement

Child Witness Expert draws Top Thais to New Zealand

A Thai team is visiting New Zealand to pick up expertise in the treatment of child witnesses in court cases.

The training programme is funded by New Zealand Official Development Assistance (NZODA) – the Government’s overseas aid programme.

“The Thai Government takes a close interest in the way New Zealand is dealing with social issues such as child protection and domestic violence, and this training course is a logical extension of that” says Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs Matt Robson.

“Their specialists in the treatment of child witnesses are keen to see how we do things here and perhaps apply some of what New Zealand has learned to their own situation.”

The Thai delegation, made up of a judge, child advocates, police, government officials, prosecutors and social workers, is observing New Zealand child witness interviewing systems. The Thai Government is about to implement new legislation to govern the treatment of child witnesses.

The programme builds on existing links in the area between New Zealand and Thailand and has been planned jointly by Principal Family Court Judge Patrick Mahony, the Royal New Zealand Police College and the Thai Attorney General’s office.

The New Zealand training course is now underway at the Police College in Porirua and will run until September 29. When the 12 Thai visitors return home they will help to train trainers for a wider UNICEF programme on the new Thai child protection legislation.

Ends.

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