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Commission works to prevent suicide

February 6, 2019 12:48 pm
Anne Dunn Baleilevuka

The Online Safety Commission is working towards building relationships with key organizations in a bid to prevent suicide.

Addressing participants at the Ministry of Youth and Sport’s first divisional conference in Nadi, Commissioner Anne Dunn Baleilevuka noted the sensitivities surrounding suicide cases and the impact of social media in suicide-related behaviour.

In 2017, she says 90 Fijians took their lives, several of whom it was because of something they had seen or read about themselves on social media.

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In the same year, seven cases of cyber bullying was reported at the Fiji Women’s Crisis Center, the Commissioner highlighted.

The Commission she says has met with Lifeline Fiji, a local NGO providing 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

With more than half of Fijians now having access to internet and 62 percent of the population aged below 35, Fijian youths remain an important component of society.

Baleilevuka is urgina all Fijians to protect their sense of peace against cyber bullying, particularly as local authorities have limited powers to remove adverse content that affect Fijians on major social media sites such as Facebook.

The Commissioner adding that they seek to achieve a 48-hour turnaround time similar to foreign counterparts, the Office of the eSafety Commission in Australia and NetSafe in New Zealand, and is rolling out a portal with prescribed forms for complaints.

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