The Ministry of Children is working on introducing a policy that will impose a duty of care on all adults to promote the safety and well-being of children.
Minister Lynda Tabuya says while four out of five children face some sort of violence in Fiji, this issue needs attention at all levels of society, including the government, family, and village levels.
Tabuya adds every adult who lives in the home should help the child overcome fear, stop a perpetrator, and stand up for them.
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“And if you don’t portray that duty of care, you too can be charged for failing to provide a duty of care that led to the harm of the child because it already exists in the Crimes Act under manslaughter. We cannot wait for a child to die. We cannot wait for someone to die who’s under our care. Then we charge them with manslaughter by negligence because they failed in their duty of care. We’ve got to do it sooner.”
Minister Women and Children Lynda Tabuya
Tabuya adds that imposing such policies can save a child’s life, and strict action will be taken against perpetrators of abuse and violence.