Home Abuse Probe

Dilkusha Home in spotlight after claims of abuse by the workers against children were reported to the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission
09 Mar 2021 11:46
Home Abuse Probe
Dilkusha Home in Nausori.

The Methodist Church of Fiji is investigating claims of Dilkusha Home children allegedly being abused.

This came to light after a Methodist Church member lodged a complaint with the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission last week.

Fiji Sun obtained photos showing children with bruise marks and sleeping on the floor and benches.

The complainant alleged that the abuse had been happening since August last year.

Former president for the Methodist Church of Fiji, President Reverend Epineri Vakadewavosa said it was during his term when he received the letter from the Social Welfare Division director.

“I have informed the church General Secretary Iliesa Naivalu and president Ili Vunisawai of the alleged incident.

“After the investigation then the report will be sent to the director of Social Welfare.”

President Ili Vunisuwai said he was waiting for the report.

Director for Social Welfare Division, Rupeni Fatiaki has confirmed that they have written to the Methodist Church of Fiji and was waiting for its investigation to complete in order to get a response.

The Commission director Ashwin Raj said they have interviewed the principal complainant who had furnished the commission with photographic evidence.

“Given the allegations also relate to physical abuse, the commission has referred the matter to the Criminal Investigations Department who have commenced interviewing the complainant,” Mr Raj said.

“The commission implores all institutions to act in the best interests of children at all times and ensure that all institutions involved are held accountable since they are the custodians of these vulnerable children. It is alarming that at least two children, as alleged by the complainant, ran away from this orphanage to escape abuse including corporal punishment.

“The Commission will await a response from the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and the religious body that manages the home together with the State.”

Methodist Dilkusha Home Superintendent Deaconess Salaseini Watisovea Kacivakawalu when called for an interview yesterday said: “I can’t release anything because I have my head of department in Suva.”

Fiji Police Force spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed an investigation was underway by CID after the matter was referred to Police by the commission.






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