Sunvoice

Editorial: Care, Safety Of Children A Top Priority

The safety of children is our priority above other obligations and responsibilities. This message from Iris Low-McKenzie, chief executive officer (CEO) of Save the Children Fiji should be heeded not
22 Jun 2018 12:08
Editorial: Care, Safety Of Children A Top Priority

The safety of children is our priority above other obligations and responsibilities.

This message from Iris Low-McKenzie, chief executive officer (CEO) of Save the Children Fiji should be heeded not only by parents and guardians, but by all in the community.

Just recently a one-year-old infant drowned in her home.

This is very unfortunate and heart breaking.

The incident raises questions about the whereabouts of parents, guardians and those within a given community when things like this happen.

It raises, as well, the issue of negligence on the part of the parents or guardians.

Parents and guardians should be reminded about their responsibility to care for and protect their children.

Ms Low-McKenzie is correct when she says – “At all times we should ensure children’s best interests and safety is our priority over other obligations and responsibilities. Children have the right to be protected and we have to ensure that we are not violating their rights at any cost. Infants are not able to judge what is right or wrong and it is our responsibility to ensure that we are responsible for them.”

She adds: “We should also be reminded about the repercussions and the implications of child negligence in our country. Courts are now imposing harsher penalties which highlight a commitment in addressing and eliminating cases of neglect, so we need to be vigilant.”

Prevention is always better than cure.

As a society, it is our duty as parents and guardians to ensure that our children are protected, be they at home, at school or on the streets.

Our children are the future, but first we need to nurture them, guide them and show them right from wrong.

Adults have a big responsibility to bring up children in the right way and protect them wherever possible from the evil of the world.

This is moreso in the advanced and technology-driven world we now live in.

Parents must feel comfortable and confident that their children are safe when they drop them off to school on mornings.

They must feel equally sure that those who are entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of these children will look out for their general wellbeing and ensure that no harm will come to them.

Parents leave their children for many hours every day in the capable hands of teachers and other guardians who work at schools. These institutions must be seen as safe havens.

Protecting children is a common shared responsibility; it cannot be done in isolation by either the school or parents or government.

We must all work together to make sure instances of child abuse soon become historical references and not present-day realities.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said – “Children are our future, and they inspire us to be the best we can be. We aspire to be at the forefront of demonstrating leadership in respect and support for children’s rights. In order to do this, we embed responsibility to children throughout our operations, and we have integrated strong support for children’s rights in our Responsibility and Human Rights policy.”

Let child protection be our responsibility.

They need our love, care, protection and guidance.

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj



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