To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Monday, August 20, 2007

PM Sogavare warns logging companies in Makira/Ulawa to stop sexual exploitation of underaged girls

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has called on the logging companies operating in the Makira/Ulawa Province to respect Solomon Islands laws and ensure their employees behave themselves.

Mr Sogavare made the call in response to a report by the Christian Care Centre of the Church of Melanesia which unveiled stories of commercial sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children in logging camps in the province.

Speaking at the province’s Second Appointed Day 24th anniversary celebrations in Kirakira last Friday, Mr Sogavare said he was ‘greatly’ disturbed by the reports.

He said disturbing revelations indicated a serious breakdown in family relationship whereby children no longer respect the authority of parents.

“This is a very sad situation and I would like to all parents, chiefs, church leaders and village elders to restore their discipline upon their children. It is a serious responsibility that must not be taken lightly.

“The responsibilities attached to parenthood are enormous. In fact it is where training for life begins and therefore parents have a duty of care to the province and ultimately the nation in the kind of children we produce.

“In this connection I must also call upon the logging companies concerned to respect our laws and ensure their employees behave themselves on pain of disciplinary actions,” Mr Sogavare said.

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