TUI Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere has called on members of the public, especially parents and church leaders, to play an active role in the fight against child abuse and molestation.
Officiating at the Duavata Northern Crime Prevention carnival's island night on Monday, Ratu Wiliame said it was only proper for these people to be on the forefront in a bid to eliminate such abuses.
"Too often nowadays, we prioritise social obligations such as the soli for the vanua, church and other special functions but we fail to carry out our responsibilities at home," he said.
"Child abuse and molestation are real and it's happening in our society. Some parents also treat these inhuman behaviours as a taboo that sometimes (cases) are swept under the carpet and ignored.
"We need to come out in the open about these issues because it's affecting our young children.
"It shouldn't be treated as a taboo anymore."