Children’s curfew proposal sparks discussion

January 12, 2024 6:30 am

The proposal from Minister for Children, Lynda Tabuya to implement a curfew for children is sparking discussions.

Tabuya remains steadfast in her belief that this proposal could be a solution to the increasing number of children roaming the streets of urban centres at night.

However, not all stakeholders seem to agree with the Minister, and they are anticipated to voice their opinions during the upcoming consultations.

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Tabuya states that her proposed curfew does not entirely restrict a child from moving around if guided by logical reasoning.

“If a child is moving around, that child must be accompanied by the parent or guardian and that child or the parent and guardian must verify that they are the parent or guardian if they are being stopped by a police officer or at any check-points if it is set up.”

The Fiji Teachers Union General Secretary Muniappa Gounder supports the move, highlighting the various advantages it can bring about.

“Our children stay off travel, they will have better travelling, they will have more time with their parents, and they will have more sleeping time, I would say.”

The Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma President Reverend Dr Semisi Turagavou calls for further discussions on the proposal.

“I am not supporting putting up some curfews, but I’m relying on the parents’ responsibility, especially how much we can actually offer our time.”

This announcement is just the beginning, and it will be followed by public consultations before the proposal is taken to Parliament and voted upon to become law.

Tabuya has also revealed that there is a likelihood of it being included in the Public Order Act.