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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Solomons Home Affairs PS express concern in rising number of street kids

The Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Fred Fakari'i has expressed concern about the increasing number of street children, especially in Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands.

Mr Fakari'i says street children are those who leave their homes to live on the streets. He says many of these street population are pushed out of their homes because they could not find love at home.

He says their population is growing very fast, that soon they will have their own children and if they are not given a future, they will pass on that lifestyle to their children.

Mr Fakari'i says sex abuse amongst children as young as 12 years is also on the increase, according to a recent report. He says some of them resort to sex in order to meet school fees and their fare on the bus to and from school.

Mr Fakari'i highlighted these problems at the opening of a training workshop this morning for parents at Gilbert Camp in east Honiara.

The Home Affairs Permanent Secretary however says government is concerned about these social issues and wants to address them with parents and communities.

"The government is serious to meet the requirements of International conventions we signed but yet to implement. But before we do that, we want you to know. We want you to contribute, share you ideas with us so we can see our way through on how to meet requirements of international conventions. This is in line with the bottom up approach which government wants to take."

Meanwhile, Save the Children's Fund Australia says negligence of children by parents and guardians has been the main concern in Solomon Islands.

Director of Save the Children Fund in Solomon Islands, Ramesh Puri said this at the opening of a workshop to educate parents about the rights of children.

Twenty parents and guardians from Gilbert Camp, a suburb of Honiara are taking part in a two-day workshop organised by Save the Children Fund of Australia.

Mr Puri says a recent survey carried out by Save the Children Fund found negligence of children by parents in the country is growing at an increasingly alarming rate especially in urban settings. He says children left on their own especially in the streets of Honiara to scavenge for survival is increasingly becoming a serious concern.

Mr Puri says the survey found that many of the children had resorted to prostitution, sexual abuse, drugs and alcohol and crimes such as break-ins and stealing.

He says Solomon Islanders have a duty to stop this dangerous trend. He adds it is not too late to start now and redirect this course to one which provides a better future for the young people.

Source: SIBC

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