Abuse of children

THE answer to ending trafficking and the sexual exploitation and abuse of children is in our hands, says International Labour Organization program co-ordinator on Child Labour Project Marie Fatiaki.

She made this comment while addressing guests at the gala dinner to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Homes of Hope at the Novotel Convention Centre in Lami on Saturday night.

Ms Fatiaki said the sexual exploitation and abuse of children was an issue published in the media daily.

“We open the newspapers every day, we read about the horrors of children being raped and sexually abused and when we turn on the TV and go online, we can see and hear it. How much more awareness is needed? We need a lot of action and advocacy for action,” Ms Fatiaki said.

She said there was a need for more accessible services for children exposed to this issue.

Homes of Hope is a safe haven and long-term shelter for young women and children who are victims of, or are vulnerable to, situations of forced sexual encounters, sexual exploitation, child sexual abuse and violence.

It was founded 20 years ago by Pastor Mark and Lynnie Roche.

Ms Fatiaki commended the work carried out by the home in the past 20 years in assisting victims of sexual violence.

She, however, said there could be more done to end this issue.

“There’s a need for services and a need for sanctions.

“There’s no excuse why children today are sold, bought or traded for sex rather for force labour or whatever gross violations of them as human beings.

“I would like you to give yourself because it takes much more than money or resources to this fight against sexual exploitation and trafficking of children.”

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