20 Mar 2014

Vanuatu church says both parents responsible for child killing

2:55 pm on 20 March 2014

A Vanuatu pastor is calling for support for mothers to prevent the killing of unwanted, newborn babies but says the fathers need to be accountable too.

It follows calls from a Tanna chief for stricter penalties for the killing of newborns, after babies have been found in bushes, toilets, and rubbish bins.

A Presbyterian leader in Port Vila, Alan Nafuki, says women should be provided support and educated on how to care for themselves and children.

He says the father should be held accountable too so both parents are responsible.

"This has been happening because of ignorance and rejecting by the parents themselves. The girls they feel lonely and they have nowhere to go. Most of them decide to after (giving) birth, to throw the babies out."

Alan Nafuki says a one day forum with the government and stakeholders will be held tomorrow to discuss how to address the issue.