Families urged to prioritize children’s wellbeing

January 19, 2024 6:33 am

The Ministry of Children, Women, and Social Protection reports an increase in children reaching out through the child helpline, highlighting a growing confidence among youngsters in self-reporting various incidents.

The Ministry received over 2,000 calls between 2019 and 2022, with more than 60 percent pertaining to cases of child neglect and abuse.

Minister Lynda Tabuya highlights that, among the reported cases, there are instances of sexual abuse and behavioral issues.

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“It may just be a dispute that happened and it’s solved there, or the child welfare officer will provide the counseling for the child. But it’s more than that, and we will take the child in if the child is at risk, and then we can convert it to a criminal charge against the adults that are involved.”

In the midst of these findings, faith-based organizations are urging families to prioritize quality time with their children to ensure their well-being.

Fiji Council of Churches President Archbishop Peter Loy Chong stresses the importance of effective parenting.

“Parenting is important. Now, you can’t parent if the parent is not at home or the child is at home. So I think putting some standards, curfews, and limits on the whereabouts and what time your child should be home is good.”

There have been numerous debates about protecting children’s wellbeing, and stakeholders are working closely to ensure children’s safety and welfare are prioritized.