Child Justice Bill

Minister for Education Aseri Radrodro (left) with Attorney General Siromi Turaga and Methodist Church of Fiji President Ili Vunisuwai at the Fiji National Education Summit 2023 at the Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort in Denarau Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

The Child Justice Bill will be tabled in Parliament in November. Attorney-General Siromi Turaga said further discussions on the Bill would be held next week with relevant stakeholders, including the Social Welfare and Education ministries.

Mr Turaga said the Bill was an important legislation to discuss as it addressed the issue of children being used as drug peddlers.

“All types of substances are being found in schools,” said Mr Turaga.

“There are revelations that children as young as five have been found with drugs. “I have even been advised that a kid as young as seven is taking drugs to school to sell by relatives and they are rewarded with gifts.

“I am sure that teachers are aware of this.” Mr Turaga said an advisory team was put together to work on the Bill.

“This matter is with our ministry in the form of the Child Justice Bill. “The Ministry of Women is pushing for it from the side of the children, but as a stakeholder we need to do consultations.

“I hope we can have further discussions on this next week with the advisory team because we do want to take it to Parliament in November.”

One of the provisions of the draft Bill is the establishment of a Child Justice Court. Under this provision, parents who do not attend their children’s court cases would be subject to an arrest warrant.

The draft law states the Chief Justice will establish a Child Justice Court and the chief magistrate will designate child justice magistrates.

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