On this 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, I’d like to send a message directly to the children of Fiji.
You –– the Fijian girls and boys who I am sworn to protect –– are what inspire my government’s work most.
I care for your well-being more than anything, and I fight for your future in everything I do. I believe you should be treated with dignity and respect, just like any adult, and the time I spend with my 19 grandchildren helps me realise the importance of issues that you deal with every day.
I am driven to give you a better Fiji than the Fiji that I, or your parents and grandparents, grew up in.
I urge you to take advantage of the many opportunities at your feet today.
Fiji used to be a very different place; not so long ago, education wasn’t free, so many children were left to stay home and work rather than attending school.
They grew up without the choice to pursue whatever career they wanted. They grew up without the ability to express their voices, and participate in national conversations about the issues that mattered to them most. But today, that has changed, and there are more Fijian boys in girls in classrooms across the country than at any point in our history. And with that education, our young people are more empowered than ever.
Today, each and every one of you can dream to become whatever you want to be someday.
To become the Fijians you dream of one day becoming, it’s important you have absolute safety, at home, at school, and in your community.
The Convention of the Rights of the Child protects your right –– and the right of children all across the world –– to live free from discrimination, violence, abuse and neglect, and my government is fully committed to making sure you have the support you need to be secure at all times, everywhere you go. 
If you ever feel like your rights are threatened, please, call Fiji’s toll-free Child Helpline.
My government worked to set up this helpline to give you someone to talk to, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even if you don’t feel comfortable giving them your name.
Whether you’ve experienced bullying at school or online, you are being abused physically or emotionally, or you need help in any way, we are here for you.
Simply dial 1325 and someone will talk you through your problems and help you find hope. Because, girls and boys, today in Fiji, that hope shines brighter than ever.