Tuesday, 29 January 2008 2:02 PM

Zero Tolerance on Child Sex Abuse in Solomons: Fono

Alarming reports of sexual abuse of children within the country has prompted the national government to take a stand in condemnation of the crime, insisting upon zero tolerance of such unlawful acts.

Deputy Prime Minister, Fred Fono, said that the recent proclamation was in light of accounts received from various members of the clergy, communities, as well as the police that the exploitation of minors was being perpetrated in Makira and Malaita provinces.

Mr. Fono reiterated his government's full support of all efforts by the police to identify and prosecute any persons' guilty of such offence.

He further added a plea to individuals of the general public that may be privy to any information that would aid the authorities in their invalidations to contact the police immediately.

Investigation is in place, according to Deputy Police Commissioner, Denis McDermott, who revealed that 900 people have been interviewed on the matter, which included different members of various communities.

The interviews were conducted by the police and have amounted to lack of formal complaints, or evidence whatsoever, pertaining to child sex abuse.

But Mr. Fono remains adamant that foreigners, particularly Asian loggers operating in the country, are preying on girls as young as twelve.

He warned that steps would definitely be taken to ensure their swift deportation.

Mr. Fono reaffirmed that the government has a lawful obligation to ensure the protection of its young citizens.