Faith based communities have a role to play in reducing crime and violence


Addressing the causes of crime  and violence in the Great Suva area by could be assisted by the greater involvement of faith based communities.

This was one of the solutions offered by participants in Fiji’s first ever discussion on crime and violence

Members of faith-based organisations and NGOs gathered in Pacific Harbour in Serua On Wednesday to participate in a three-day dialogue about the root causes of crime and violence

They appear to be on the increase in the rapidly populating Great Suva Area.

Organisers of the talks, Dialogue Fiji, said sexual assault cases were up from 718 cases reported in 2005 to 2714 last year.

There were also noted increase in cases such as theft with 6447 reported last year compared with 3380 in 2005.

Burglary was up from 850 in 2005 to more than 2300 in 2015.

Dialogue Fiji’s executive director, Nilesh Lal, said convening independent spaces for dialogue on social issues and facilitating engagement between state, non-state and citizen groups was useful to devising sustainable and effective solutions to issues such as crime.

“Security is an important element of the social contract that citizens have with the state, and with the growing populations and increasing crime incidences, innovative approaches to tackling crime in a rapidly changing landscape is necessary,” he said.

“As experiences from other contexts have shown, community engagement can be an effective tool to achieve this.”

Dialogue Fiji has been working in the area of inclusive and participatory decision making, democratic transition, good governance, conflict analysis and peace-building since 2009.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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