‘Very worrying trends’ | Sexual violence high against teenage girls – Minister

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Minister for Women, Children and Social Protection Lynda Tabuya at parliament, on Friday, September 15, 2023. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Sexual violence is very high against teenage girls and children and includes cases where infants and children below the age of five are victims.

Minister for Women and Children Lynda Tabuya said this in Parliament last week where she indicated that despite previous efforts, a high rate of violations continues including child rape and neglect.

“The majority of the perpetrators are family members,” Ms Tabuya said.

“Child abuse in all its forms exists in Fiji and we have heard the recent statistics and trends — very worrying trends.

“We, as a ministry, will continue to work with our stakeholders to increase awareness on child abuse and neglect.”

The minister told Parliament that the violence against children in Fiji report, expected to be launched in a week provided an indication of geographical hotspots by type of violation.

She said there were clear recommendations in this report on the need for a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach and to improve coordination across key ministries.

The study, she said, represented a significant and timely step forward in the protection of children in Fiji.

“Evidence-based reports provide a solid footing to set targets connected without outcomes for children, including child-friendly services and reduced rates of children in institutional care.

“Importantly, the report also provides material to inform and focus prevention efforts whether with parents, communities, religious leaders or with children themselves which, going forward, needs to include boys.”

The minister also called on members of the August House to host an informational session on this very topic to raise awareness of child welfare issues.

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