Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar says she is shocked and disappointed following the 30-month imprisonment sentence handed down to a 30-year-old man charged with buying minors under the age of 18 years for immoral purposes.
Simione Tugi was arrested in 2020 after evading arrest since May 2015 when the matter first came to light.
Tugi sold the victim who was 16-years-old at the time of the incident, on two separate occasions to two different men for the purpose of sexual intercourse whereby he received money on both occasions.
The offence was committed between January to February 2015 in Nabua.
Akbar says this sentence sends a wrong message and is a slap on the face of all the good work that is being done by the Ministry, Civil Society Organisations, NGOs and religious organizations in the area of child protection.
She says such leniency in sentencing offenders does not help their efforts and does not provide adequate justice to the victims.
Akbar further says as the Ministry that is mandated to look after the care and protection of the children of Fiji, it is shocking that such a lenient sentence is given to someone who knowingly and deliberately violates the safety, protection and innocence of our children.
The Minister says Fiji is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Children and the Ministry is doing its best through legislation and policies to address the safety and protection of all children.
Meanwhile former Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Rakuita has posted on her Facebook page saying is 30 months the best that the laws of our country can impose for the buying and selling of our children for the purposes of sex.
Rakuita says if that’s the worth we are placing on the lives of our children now then what type of generation are we looking forward to when the same children become leaders of our tomorrow.
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