“Protect me with Love and Care” Children Say
SUVA, 13 April 2009 – The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Pacific office today released the Child Protection Baseline Reports - “Protect me with Love and Care” for Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to regional partners working to protect the children of the Pacific.
UNICEF Pacific’s Chief of Child Protection, Johanna Eriksson-Takyo says the title of the report is a direct reflection of the children’s response when asked about how they wanted to be best protected.
The reports highlight the current situation of child protection laws, systems and community issues in these countries. It also provides a set of recommendations for governments and partners to undertake, to ensure that children in their countries grow to their full potential in an environment that is free from violence, abuse and exploitation.
“Children in all four countries commonly identified love and care as the best way they wanted parents, guardians and teachers to protect them. Of course, laws need to be in place and governments have a responsibility to ensure a continuum of care and protection of children at risk and children who are survivors of abuse and exploitation,” says Eriksson-Takyo.
The reports also illustrate findings on violence in the home, violence in schools and the alignment of the countries laws and regulatory systems with the Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC) and the capacity of social welfare systems for child protection.
These reports are a valuable resource for policy makers in government, academics who want to conduct further research, project and programme planning of NGO's, as well as for individual, as a reflection for behaviour change towards best practices for protecting our children.
Eriksson-Takyo says that UNICEF Pacific released the reports to regional partners today in an effort to better explore possible initiatives for collaboration to further realize UNICEF Pacific’s vision and commitment to the protection of children in the Pacific.
National level launches in the respective countries are also expected to happen in the next two months where government partners, other stakeholders, the media and respective citizens and children will be welcomed and encouraged to take joint action to prevent child abuse and create a safe and protective environment for children in the Pacific.