News : Child Helpline Memorandum Signed
Suva, Fiji, Oct 20, 2015 -- Students now have the opportunity to share their problems freely in an open manner without being identified, says Minister for Education Mahendra Reddy.
He said this after signing a memorandum of understanding for the Child Helpline with the director for Medical Services Pacific, Jennifer Poole, at Senikau House, Ministry of Education boardroom yesterday.
He said Fiji was the first country in the Pacific to have a fully operational Child Helpline.
"The Child Helpline will enable children to open up about their problems without being identified and be kept anonymous for their own safety," he said.
"The main advantage of the Child Helpline is that the child’s identity is kept confidential because at this particular stage; children are vulnerable, their ability to rise between bad and good is limited and this is the time they are always quite emotional and they need more support and care," he said.
Mr Reddy said the helpline would protect a child against all forms of abuse and a circular will be send out to all school heads so they can be aware of the rights to protect a child.
"Children will be protected from violence, neglect, exploitation which includes trafficking, abduction and sexual abuse and even divorce of parents."
Ms Poole said one of the main issues faced by children was caused when their parents go through divorce.
"The child helpline is open 24/7 and it’s a free call service where children, even youths can voice their concern if they are in need of support," she said.
Ms Poole said the child helpline provides counselling, referral and if needed and with co-ordination – emergency assistance.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Child Helpline Fiji:
FIJI'S efforts to tackle child abuse and other related cases has been made possible with the launch of the country's first ever Child Help line
Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2015