Stronger effort needed to change attitudes for children as right holders: McKenzie

Save the Children Fiji CEO Iris Low McKenzie. Picture: FT FILE

THE prevalence of violence against children is very concerning and there needs to be a stronger effort to change our attitudes about children as right holders, says Save the Children Fiji CEO Iris McKenzie.

Ms McKenzie said while there was a need to encourage children to speak out against violence in schools, it needed to be ensured that our systems supported children to do so where they would not be victimised further for speaking out and reporting, and that the matter was treated with urgency.

“To protect the rights, protection and dignity of the children, confidentiality for the child must be upheld. There must be urgent investigations and the teacher must go through the process of the Public Service Disciplinary Tribunal; and if found guilty, the teacher should not be allowed to teach children and face the full brunt of the law as corporal punishment is against the law,” Ms McKenzie said.

“Children in Fiji are fortunate to be protected against corporal punishment, or physical and humiliating punishment, however, we must ensure that the systems in place to protect them are functioning to uphold the best interest of the child.”

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