24 Sep 2014

Calls for Tonga to update UN report

11:37 am on 24 September 2014

A Tongan rights group has called on the government to safeguard the rights of children by finally issuing a report almost 20 years in the making.

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva.

Tonga signed up to the CRC's convention in 1995 but although it worked on a draft bill, the kingdom is one of only two signatories yet to report on the status of children.

The President of Ma'a Fafine mo e Famili, Betty Hafoka-Blake, says the government needs to move towards completing its obligations.

She says such action may help lower levels of youth violence by addressing its root.

"Do not spare the rod and spoil the child. We believe a lot in that and we want to see what is the alternative. We need CRC. We need some measures for government to consider in supporting and educating our people about another way of how to raise children."

The President of Ma'a Fafine mo e Famili, Betty Hafoka-Blake.

The Minster of Education says the government has worked on the CRC report for the past two years and is hoping to present it to the UN by the end of the year.

The National Shield of Tonga

The National Shield of Tonga Photo: RNZI