Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) President Makarita Lenoa reiterated the importance of sport in educating the public during a workshop on safeguarding athletes.
The workshop was led through Fijian law firm Munro Leys following a conversation with Fiji Olympian Association chairman Carl Probert and involved FASANOC, National Federations (NFs) and solicitors.
Lenoa welcomed efforts by the International Olympic Committee on athlete safeguarding and reminded those present that without athletes there would be no sport.
She added: "There are many ills in society that can creep into sports and it is important for us to be educated on what these ills are and how best to deal with them.
"Fiji being a signatory to the convention on Human Rights, all NFs, including FASANOC, have moral, ethical and legal responsibilities towards the athletes."
Managing partner of Munro Leys Nicholas Barnes and his team presented examples of harassment and abuse in sports, with issues of neglect by team officials, executives and fellow athletes addressed.
"It is important that FASANOC has a reporting procedure where athletes, officials and anyone can report harassment and abuse," said Barnes.
"This could include channels such as writing in [to FASANOC], an online form, email, in-person or via telephone."
He said it was important that FASANOC and NFs have a policy that clearly defines harassment and abuse in sports and who is protected by the policy.
Barnes also called for an investment in training a welfare or safeguarding officer to deal with reporting procedures.
"All cases of harassment and abuse should be referred through an established disciplinary procedure, hence the importance of defined policies and upskilling of personnel," he added.
He said collaboration with stakeholders was crucial in ensuring athlete-safeguarding policies were upheld and would help prevent incidents from arising in the first place.