26 Jan 2015

EU supports Tongan child study

10:10 am on 26 January 2015

The Tongan family support organisation Ma'aFafine says it is very grateful for a grant from the European Union enabling a study of violence against children.

School children from Tonga's Ha'apai Islands.

School children from Tonga's Ha'apai Islands. Photo: RNZ / Jane Patterson

The Director of Ma'aFafine, Betty Blake, says the 135,000 US dollar donation, announced during a visit by the EU Ambassador Andrew Jacobs, will support a three-year study of violence towards children, including those with disabilities.

She says she hopes the study, which starts in March, can survey more than a thousand under 18-year-olds to gain a good sample of Tonga's 43,000 children.

She says the eventual aim is to improve laws in Tonga so that children can reach their full potential in life.

"At the end of the study we're looking at forming a legistlation on violence against children. We are looking at everything, CSOs, NGOs and Government, to work together and see how best we can address issues on good health and protection of our children. I think that's the main target."

Ma'aFafine Director, Betty Blake.