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NGO sets major focus on child protection

Vishaal Kumar
Monday, January 29, 2018

WITH violence and sex-related cases among children being a prevalent problem in the country, Save the Children (SC) Fiji continues to take a firm stand against cases that get highlighted.

SC Fiji CEO Iris McKenzie said violence against children in any form should never be tolerated.

"We need urgent collective action to put an end to this. SC Fiji will continue to advocate child safeguarding and the protection of our children," Ms McKenzie said.

She said there needed to be awareness on rights protection and about Fiji's legislation.

"We must provide information to community members about where to go to for help, where to report an incident and that reporting is the right thing to do," she said.

"We must empower children to be agents of change, to voice these violations and we must have the services available at the district level to cater for the reports.

"Through advocacy at the national level, by raising the voices of children through children's forums at the divisional levels, through community outreach, information dissemination and partnerships with other stakeholders like the Department of Social Welfare and Homes of Hope."

She said at the national level, the number of cases of sexual abuse and violence could be reduced by tougher penalties for perpetrators so that the law became a deterrent.

"Also organisations having a child protection policy to ensure that they are child safe, to ensure that people that they are employing have gone through police checks to ensure that there are no criminal records, particularly on any violations of children's rights," she said.

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