18 May 2015

Pacific groups meet to discuss child violence

7:54 am on 18 May 2015

Civil society groups, policy makers and religious leaders are meeting in Fiji this week to come up with ways to tackle high rates of violence against children in the Pacific.

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Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Research collated by UNICEF says 70 percent of adults in the Pacific admit to using violence to punish their children at home.

A spokesperson for the Methodist Church in Fiji, James Bhagwan, says corporal punishment has been outlawed in the country.

But he says there is still the traditional way of thinking that 'if you spare the rod, you spoil the child'.

Reverend Bhagwan says the conference will provide an opportunity for all relevant groups to work together.

"Every country has been addressing this within our own particular communities and our own countries. This perhaps puts a platform for groups that would not necessarily work together because they are busy doing their own projects. It's a good opportunity for a chance to sit down and have some stocktake, but also sit down and say look we haven't perhaps worked as well as we should have."