In many Pacific island countries, the legal framework for child protection is weak. Programme and services lack strategic direction and protection related vulnerabilities faced by children are not addressed. Families and communities are increasingly torn between traditional and modern ways of raising and disciplining children and evidence gathered with support from UNICEF in seven countries show that corporal punishment in homes and communities, as well as high levels of bullying at school, are major areas of concern. Due to high rates of domestic violence, a significant number of children grow up exposed to violence and abuse, including in places that should be violence-free. Gender based violence is another major area of concern with the Pacific being location to four out of the top five countries globally, in which the highest support for wife beating among adolescent boys is registered. Birth registration rates vary widely across the region, from less than 20% in Solomon Islands to more than 60% in Kiribati and 90% in Fiji. Several countries including Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Fiji are making progress in improving legislative frameworks for child protection.
From 2013 to 2017, the Child protection programme will build on past successes to achieve the following results for children: