Every child has the right to be protected from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, inhumane treatment and any form of violence.
This was highlighted by Justice Aruna Aluthge while speaking on the Case Law and Legal Developments on Rights of the Child in Fiji.
Justice Aluthge says that Fiji in 1993 ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child with 193 states and this is by far the most comprehensive document on the treatment of children.
He says the Fijian government recognized the need to give special treatment and protection to children in the justice system and enacted the Juveniles Act as way back as 1974.
The High Court Judge says the 2013 constitution had incorporated the Bill of Rights consistent with Fiji’s commitment to abide by various international conventions on human rights.
Justice Aluthge says Fiji’s constitution states that every person is equal is before the law and has the right to equal protection, treatment and benefit of the law.
Meanwhile the number of child abuse cases in our country continues to increase every year.
Minister for Women and Children Mereseini Vuniwaqa had earlier informed parliament that in 2012, there were 313 reported cases of child abuse while in 2016 there were 1,077 reported cases.
She says there were 897 cases of neglect while there were 552 cases of physical abuse.