The Pacific Council of Churches General Secretary Reverend James Bhagwan says a lot of the new churches in Fiji do not have strong governance mechanisms and that is a weakness.
While speaking to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence about their strong stand against violence against women and children, Reverend Bhagwan says a person can just start a faith community and they understand that this is the nature of faith communities.
He was responding to a question by FijiFirst parliamentarian Doctor Salik Govind.
Reverend Bhagwan says in the past, the Fiji Council of Churches was usually consulted when it came to the approval of any new church being set up.
He says this allowed due diligence.
Reverend Bhagwan says in terms of monitoring, they have reporting mechanisms in a project they are rolling out.
He says in terms of the reporting of cases, they are encouraging all of their churches to have no drop policies and codes of conduct that include the reporting of cases straight away to the Police.
Reverend Bhagwan says it is really in the space of the Religious Bodies Act where something like this could be brought in.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence is taking virtual submissions on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
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