THE Department of Social Welfare in the Western Division has taken a proactive approach to highlight child abuse and neglect by hosting government departments, civil society organisations, non-government organisations and security forces to a morning tea in Lautoka yesterday.
Held in the city council chambers, the department explained the need for a world campaign to highlight child abuse.
"Today, sexual, physical and emotional abuses are a universal and alarming problem and increased attention and protective skills and prevention measures are urgently needed at the family, local, national and international level," said principal welfare officer west Teresia Mateiwai.
"After a long tradition of silence, child abuse is being more and more denounced and becoming a public and political concern, alerting government and civil society organisations to play a more active role in the promotion of and the respect for the rights of children and advocating the need for more effective prevention of child abuse and violence against children."
She said Fiji joined a coalition of NGOs in 2009 to raise awareness, mobilise public opinion and action and to disseminate prevention programs.
"Fiji's theme for 2012 is Celebrate Life Protect the Child. As a coalition member, we mark the day with local and national events."