Save The Children Fiji says crimes which involve physical or sexual abuse of children should be taken seriously and maximum penalties should be given out.
Its chief executive officer, Chandra Shekhar, made the comment after more cases were reported in the past weeks of the alleged sexual assault of minors placed in the care of older people.
He says it is sad to see that the perpetrators of such heinous crime are people who are known to the victims.
Mr Shekhar says child abuse is an invasion of a child's integrity and creates fear in the boy or girl who may be harmed for life physically, emotionally and mentally.
"Punishing a person of course does not reverse a situation as far as a victim goes but a severe penalty is going to be a deterrent and save the children from further traumas."
Chandra Shekhar says parents should also be more aware of who is looking after their children over the holiday period.