The Solomon Islands National Parliament has been told economic pressures are weakening the country's traditional family and community structures.
Minister of Health and Medical Services Dr Tautai Kaitu'u was speaking at the presentation in parliament of the Child and Family Welfare Bill.
He said modernisation was changing social behaviours among children, who are moving away from their families as they search for better education and jobs.
Dr Kaitu'u said in the past in Solomon Islands, society placed great emphasis on the care and the nurture of children and the change leaves them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
He said the Child and Welfare Bill aimed to counter some of these new social trends with provisions for children's welfare and protection.
Dr Kaitu'u said the bill means families and communities would get advice and support on how to care and protect children and it would give some authority to social welfare officers to help this process.