THE Homes of Hope opened its regional summit yesterday titled Creating Safety Nets to Combat CSEC (commercial sexual exploitation of children) at the Salvation Army in Suva.
The organisation, which runs the summit throughout this week, is hosting delegations from Malawi and the Solomon Islands.
One of the organisation's directors, Lynn Roche, said such summits were the first step in battling CSEC in communities.
"This is a regional summit and we have delegates from Malawi, East Africa and the Solomon Islands as well as gatekeepers from 34 communities throughout Fiji," Mrs Roche said.
"The purpose of the summit is to create awareness regarding CSEC trafficking and then on Friday, everybody will be responsible to create action plans for their own communities to do with what they've learnt."
Mrs Roche, who is one of the drivers of Homes of Hope, alongside her husband Mark Roche since 1997, said a lot of people in Fiji were unaware of CSEC issues.
"So that's really what this summit is for too â€" to create awareness about CSEC, because there's ignorance and then you've got the cultural issue of tabu and then a lot of people don't understand the law, so it's a combination of things and that's why we have the summit."