30 Jun 2017

Calls for Vanuatu govt to consider child welfare system

7:24 am on 30 June 2017

A child rights advocate in Vanuatu says an abuse case that has outraged the nation highlights glaring deficiencies in the country's child welfare system.

Two people have been arrested after a baby was thrown from a bus in Port Vila earlier this week, images of which appeared on social media.

The child suffered only minor injuries and is understood to be in the care of other family.

But Jenny Ligo, who was appointed by the government to set up the implementation of the UN treaty for the rights of the child in 2009, said the case shows greater problems.

Ms Ligo said efforts were made to establish a child welfare regime in 2009, but that was suddenly stopped by the government.

"When we see things coming up, especially with this case, it is now apparent that the Vanuatu government has to consider a child welfare system," she said.

"Maybe they think it is expensive, but at the end of the day you want to save a child. You want to make sure that children are safe."