Logging companies operating in Makira/Ulawa Province are called on to respect Solomon Islands' laws and employees are urged to behave themselves.

Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, made the call following a report by the Christian Care Centre of the Church of Melanesia on the commercial sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children in logging camps in the province.

Speaking at the province's Second Appointed Day celebrations in Kirakira last Friday, Mr Sogavare said he was greatly disturbed by the reports. Mr. Sogavare said the disclosure has indicated a serious breakdown in family relationship, with children no longer respecting the authority of parents.

He said the "very sad situation" must not be taken lightly, stressing the need for all parents, chiefs, church leaders and village elders to restore their discipline upon the children.