"The people need to stop stigmatizing children in conflict with the law," Laoly noted in a written statement here on Friday.
The minister pointed out that Indonesia’s Constitution had ensured every child of sustainability, growth, and development, as well as protection from violence and discrimination.
"That includes child offenders," he noted.
Despite them being subject to the juvenile criminal justice system and coaching, their rights to coaching, education, and healthcare must not be disregarded.
Children in conflict with the law are coached to ensure they can return to their community and families at the earliest. Such goal can only be attained when everyone is committed to foregoing the bad stigma.
Related news: 548,000 Indonesian children get COVID-19 vaccine jabs:Health Ministry
"Do not view them as junior criminals. Instead, see them as the future generations whose rights still need to be protected," he emphasized.
Some 1,020 jailed children received remission from the Correctional General Directorate of the Law and Human Rights Ministry in commemoration of National Children's Day 2021.
A total of 1,001 children received remission I or deduction in serving time, while 19 others received remission II or immediate release.
Efforts to uphold the best interests of children in conflict with the law can come in many shapes, such as remission. Apart from being a legal mandate, it is also demonstrates the government’s care.
Related news: Pandemic increasing prevalence of stunting: BKKBN
The remission is expected to assist the children in reintegrating with their families and community in order to rebuild their future.
The minister has always reminded his people at the Institution of Coaching for Children (LPKA) that are tasked with coaching child offenders to constantly prioritize their best interests.
"Do (your) roles and functions according to the correctional principles by putting first the kids' best interests and ensuring that their rights are met," he stated.
The lives of children in conflict with the law do not end at the LPKA, as they still have a long journey ahead, for which it is the nation's responsibility to best prepare them.
Laoly reminded that the future of Indonesia lies in the hands of children. By protecting their interests, including those in conflict with the law, we also protect the future of the nation.
Related news: Agriculture Ministry ensures rice stocks, stable pricing during PPKM
Related news: Vaccinations, stimulus fueled global recovery hopes: Indrawati