SUVA, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Fiji's Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation recorded 1,077 cases of child abuse and neglect in 2016, the government-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) reported Friday.
The figures cannot be taken lightly and authorities will strengthen child protection initiatives, said Mereseini Vuniwaqa, minister for women, children and poverty alleviation.
While the government tries to recognize child protection as a policy concern, they lack the resources and legal framework to address the matter, Vuniwaqa admitted.
"Responding to this, the 2008-2012 strategy and results resources framework included three core outcomes. One is children are increasingly protected by legislation and are better served by justice systems that protect them as victims. Secondly are better served by well informed and coordinated child protection services," she said.
Sheldon Yett, Pacific representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), said they are looking forward to working with Fiji to ensure that a good strategy is in place, especially on the bill for adoption of children.