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Dr Tania Herbert presenting the CSEC Report
Photo No. : P070731-1
Click for enlarged photo

 
CSEC Report launched in Honiara
 
MELANESIAN MESSENGER 070731-1
July 31, 2007

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] The Christian Care Centre of the Church of Melanesia in Solomon Islands this morning launched a report that calls for a government- and church-led intervention in waging a war against commercial sexual exploitation of innocent children in the country.

The report, emanating from a study carried out early this year in one of the regions in Arosi on Makira province, found that the presence of logging companies there is a major contributor to sexual exploitation of local children through sexual abuse, child pornography and illegal actions.

Lady Alice Waena, wife of the Governor General of Solomon Islands, said in launching the report that all stakeholders including national, provincial and local community leaders and churches must work together to collectively combat such evil practices against the innocent children.

"Where such inhuman and ungodly practices thrive in our nation and within our village communities we need to uproot it through the police and the courts," she said.

Dr Tania Herbert of the Centre, when presenting the report, said the current lack of monitoring of logging camps means that people in the camps are not accountable for their illegal actions and are easily able to access children for the purpose of sexually abusing and exploiting them.

"There are a range of other factors including issues around marriage, poverty, changes to custom, and a lack of awareness about child abuse, exploitation and safety as the likely contributing factors," she said.

Among its recommendations, the report calls for further projects and research, mobilization of services, increased involvement of government services at the local level, involvement of logging companies and reduced access of children to logging camps as ways of addressing the issue.

The launch this morning was well attended and witnessed by government and private sector representatives and church members.

The report, titled "Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Solomon the Islands: A Report Focusing on the Presence of Logging Industry in a Remote Region", is now available and can be downloaded from the Church of Melanesia website Click here..