NATION

Child Negligence Tops 2018 Abuse Reports

Child negligence tops the list of child abuse cases re­ported in the country last year, it has been revealed. It makes up 226 reported cases of the total of 748
23 Jan 2019 11:00
Child Negligence Tops 2018 Abuse Reports

Child negligence tops the list of child abuse cases re­ported in the country last year, it has been revealed.

It makes up 226 reported cases of the total of 748 cases of child abuse.

The Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Allevia­tion Children Services assistant director, Ela Tukutukule­vu, said child abuse was an important issue which parents needed to pay more attention to.

Ms Tukutukulevu said the abuses ranged from child ne­glect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy and beyond control.

Apart from child negligence cases, there were 149 physi­cal abuse cases and 130 sexual abuse cases.

“One tactic we are deploying to minimise the case of child abuse, is to raise awareness,” said Ms Tukutukulevu.

“In our Child Welfare Act Database, we have been pro­vided the data breakdown of provinces.

“Therefore, we are focusing on raising awareness with the highest number of abuse reported by that province or village.”

One such aspect to tackle child negligence is to under­stand child rights, she said.

Ms Tukutukulevu said there were people who misun­derstood child rights and the ministry was trying to help them understand this.

“Children’s rights includes their right to association with both parents, human identity and the basic needs for physical protection, food, universal state-paid education, health care, and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child, equal protection of the child’s civil rights, and freedom from discrimination on the basis of the child’s race, gender, sexual orientation, gender iden­tity, national origin, religion, disability, colour, ethnicity, or other characteristics.”

“We need child and parents to understand this so that we can minimise the cases of child abuse.”

Why a drop in cases?

When compared with 2017, a total of 1145 cases were re­ported to the ministry.

“This could mean two things. Our awareness workshops have a positive impact and we are actually reducing the number of child abuse cases. The second is, the authori­ties are under-reporting child abuse cases and hence the numbers had decreased in 2018.”

Ms Tukutukulevu has urged parents to pay more atten­tion to their children as well.

“The lack of supervision has claimed lives of many inno­cent young ones and I would advise our parents and guard­ians to make an effort to pay attention to their children.”

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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