6 May 2003

Tougher Fiji crime laws called a band aid approach

4:21 pm on 6 May 2003

The Fiji Women's Rights Movement says the government has adopted a band aid approach to combat the country's rising rate of sexual and violence crimes.

The movement's comments come after the government announced that it will amend the Penal code to introduce life imprisonment for robbery with violence, rape and incest with a minor.

The attorney general says the government crackdown on such crimes is in part because of increasing concern from the business sector and foreign investors.

The Women's Rights Movement's coordinator, Virisila Buadromo , says introducing tougher sentences will lower the crime rate in the short run but fail to address the causes.

Ms Buadromo says the government must address issues such as poverty which is a contributing factor to Fiji's rising crime rate.

"There is good news in the fact that perpetrators will be getting the penalties that they deserve, but Fiji's poverty rate and unemployment rate is high so the government really seriously needs to start looking at some of it's own policies to try and combat some of these issues that are resulting in the high crime rates."

Virisila Buadromo from the Fiji Women's Rights Movement.