4,689 children between 2019-2021 have reported suffering from emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and being victims of parental conflict and most of these children suffer the psychological consequences of these deeds, and some have even attempted suicide.
This has been highlighted by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar in her message to commemorate World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and World Children’s Day.
Akbar says these statistics are worrying as we know that parental neglect and abuse can have negative effects on a child’s psychological well-being and ultimately their healthy development.
The Minister says this year, they are aware of the urgency to double our efforts.
She says they are encouraging parents, guardians, communities, faith-based leaders, and the general public to continue to create an open, empowering and safe environment for children.
Akbar says children have a difficult world to navigate, and it is essential that they have loving and strong support from adults to guide and empower them through the circumstances they face and for these reasons, they have chosen to continue with the theme ‘’Empowering Young Minds’’ this year.
She says this motto highlights the importance for a child to have a good mental balance and a call for them to ensure that children enjoy the best emotional and developmental conditions that ultimately contributes to a better quality of life.
The Minister says the theme for this year also reflects the objectives of World Children’s Day which aims to celebrate the intrinsic value of childhood and underline the importance of improving children’s lives.
Akbar says over the years, the Fijian Government and Civil Society Organizations have worked together and invested in raising awareness and promoting togetherness toward the well-being of children.
She is urging all Fijians to break the silence of child abuse and neglect so we can end the vicious cycle of crimes against our children of Fiji.
The Minister further says every child deserves a bright future, and the Fijian Government is committed to investing in the well-being of all Fijian children.
Akbar stresses child abuse and neglect does not only affect the body but can deeply wound the mind, heart and soul of a child.
She says therefore, let us work together by talking about it, reporting it and breaking the silence because there is no excuse for child abuse and neglect.
You can call the Child Helpline number 1325, a toll-free number staffed by professional counsellors 24/7, who are ready to listen to our children and guide them towards getting the help they need and deserve.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations