VIOLENCE against children comes in various forms. We welcomes discussions in Honiara this week on addressing this issue.
Violent discipline against children is a common one. It is everyone’s business and not that of only the parents.
There are laws that protects children, so in exerting discipline on children, parents, guardians and teachers must be cautious not to be violent against children.
Recommendations to changing the marriage age from 15 to 18 years is good legally but won’t stop our children from engaging in illegal activities.
The onus is on parents, guardians and relatives to ensure children are disciplined properly at home.
Today we see teenagers being abducted, children witnessing their mothers being murdered, their fathers in prison and being homeless.
These are form of violence being exerted upon our children. It is not just smacking our children alone that is a serious form of violence.
Our poor economic status may have some direct effects on how parents are treating their children.
For instance, giving their daughters hand in marriage at a very early age or selling their daughters to foreigners in a logging camp or fishing boat.
These are gross violations of the rights of children, committed by non-other than the very people children trusts.
Similarly sexual violence is another serious form, for instance incest and rape of minors or those with disability by caregivers, parents or guardians.
Whilst the onus is on parents, guardians or caregivers, all stakeholders must be responsible to ensure our children are not treated violently.
The law will catch up on us as offenders because it protects children who are vulnerable and victims of violence perpetrated by the very people they trust.