BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
That is according to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women Youth, Children and Family Affairs Dr Cendrick Alependava at the one-day inception workshop on economic Costs of Violence against Children (VAC) in Solomon Islands held on 9th November 2022.
“Existing evidence shows the level of public investment in child protection issues, particularly in prevention of and response to violence against children, which is a core part in child rights, is very low,” Alependava said.
He said the relevance of violence against children in Solomon Islands is very high.
Alependava stressed the DHS survey 2015 indicates 85.5 percent of children aged two to 12 experience some form of violent discipline, with 22 per cent reporting ‘severe physical punishment’. Similarly, in the 2009 Child Protection Baseline Survey, 72 per cent of parents reported having used violent or physical discipline against children in their households.
He adds with that the aim of this Analysis (workshop) is to produce evidence on the economic implications of violence against children for Solomon Islands.
Alependava said it will estimate the economic loss, in the form of a certain percentage of GDP, due to the prevalence of violence against children (VAC) in the country. It will also supplement the rights-based approach normally used in advocacy around VAC as well as show us that it has economic consequences that hold us back, as a country in our economic growth.
“With this study, we aim to form a broader coalition around prevention of and response to violence against children and enhance our chances in advocacy for resource allocations and mobilization, both with the government, especially to our leaders and policy makers as well as our Donor partners. In addressing violence against children, we can all help to put our beloved Solomon Islands on a more positive economic growth trajectory,” he said.