YOUTH leaders in Vanua Levu have been commended for taking a stand in recognising child abuse and violence against women and children.
Speaking to 24 youth leaders at a workshop series organised by Aspire Network and the Medical Services Pacific, principal welfare officer Northern Inoke Dokonivalu said they could play an active role in their communities in ensuring these forms of violence were abolished.
Mr Dokonivalu encouraged youths to work with them to ensure peace, respect and recognition of children and women's rights in their communities.
"If this is achieved, it will allow our people to grow in an environment of non-violence," he said.
"Child protection and women empowerment to end violence against them can only be achieved through all stakeholders in particular to the youths of today for they will be our future.
"Currently, the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Women is the chair of the National Co-ordinating Committee on children which includes all ministries, non-governmental organisations that are committed to work on child protection programs."
Medical Services Pacific executive director Jennifer Poole said the workshops were meant to empower youths to actively work at keeping their communities violence-free.
"These are the future of this country and empowering them means securing a brighter future for our women and children."