Child abuse cases alarming

THE Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is alarmed at the increasing number of child abuse and neglect cases.

Women’s Minister Rosy Akbar said every child had a right to be protected and loved in a home.

Ms Akbar said sadly this was not the case in Fiji, where they continued to be exploited.

“Parents need to be vigilant and know where their children are and what they are doing, including the company their children are in. No one is safe anywhere because current cases show children continue to be exploited in their homes and by trusted figures,” she said.

Ms Akbar warned parents and guardians that Government would not hesitate to take negligent parents to task.

Meanwhile, a report submitted at the Social Welfare Department’s Gatekeepers Forum in the North last year revealed the department recorded a total of 1427 child abuse cases from 2001 to 2014. The report revealed the department recorded a total of 94 cases in 2011, 316 cases in 2012, 312 cases in 2013 and 705 cases in 2014.

The report also revealed that the department recorded a total of 268 cases of child neglect from 2011 to 2014.

According to figures revealed in the report the Northern Division headed the number of child abuse cases committed with a total of 302 cases followed by the South Eastern Division with a total of 296 cases within the same period.

The Northern Division also recorded the highest number of child neglect cases at 68 cases while the Central Division followed with 64 cases for the same period.

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