SEXUAL abuse cases against children are on the increase with records jumping from 292 in 2008 to 542 cases in 2009.
The findings were released in a publication launched recently on Children in Fiji by UNICEF.
Although a decline in overall child abuse cases was reported by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics, the Social Welfare Department also recorded an increase in sexual abuse against children ranging from birth to 18 years of age.
The bureau has recorded cases reported to the department ranging from physical abuse, sexual, emotional, neglect, abandonment and those who had been lost.
"Most of the reported cases relate to neglect and sexual and physical abuse, respectively," the report said.
Permanent secretary for the Ministry of National Planning, Strategic Planning and Statistics Pita Wise said it was unclear whether this was a true increase or the result of better awareness and the strengthening of local detection systems.
He said Fiji had made promising strides in the areas of child protection in terms of legislation.
"Our Department of Social Welfare is exemplary in the region and many of Fiji's existing laws and policies comply with international conventions," Mr Wise said.
The Fiji Bureau however, reported that surveys revealed 15 per cent of adult respondents in urban areas indicate there were no services available for badly hurt children.