Tuvalu NAP

The Tuvalu National Human Rights Action Plan is a Pacific first and consolidates Tuvalu's human rights committments and ensures a systematic and coordinated approach to the delivery of the government's human rights committment, as well as to strengthen the government's realisation of human rights in Tuvalu.
 
It captures Tuvalu's existing coomittments under human rights treaties to which it is a state party-- the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as well as Tuvalu’s commitments under the Universal periodic Review (UPR), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Te Kakeega III-2016-2020 (TK III), Tuvalu’s National Development Plan.
 

 

                                                                                                   

     View|Download

 

 

 

 

 

Nuku’Alofa, Tonga – Members of the judiciary and lawyers in Tonga recently held discussions aimed at strengthening the implementation of the Family Protection Act in order to tackle domestic violence.

The consultations (12-14 December) were funded by the European Union while technical assistance, in the form of design and facilitation of the consultations, was provided by the Pacific Community (SPC).

Retired judge from New Zealand, Judge Phil Moran co-facilitated the workshops with SPC’s Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT).

In separate consultations, magistrates and lawyers discussed some of the challenges they face in discharging their duties in relation to the implementation of the 2013 Family Protection Act and how they will continue to support the process of the implementation of this law.

Tonga passed the Family Protection Act in 2013, which essentially defines domestic violence and also provides for specific roles and protection mechanisms to assist those that are affected by domestic violence. Significant is the power of the court to issue Protection Orders, which have various conditions set out as per the law meant to protect victims of violence within domestic relationships.

The Act also provides for specific offences relating to domestic violence, ensuring that this form of violence is no longer considered a private matter.
The magistrates’ consultation analysed procedure, evidence and remedies provided in the Family Protection Act; and examined some of the challenges that have been faced in the implementation of this Act.

The consultation also drew the link between domestic violence and gender, and how expectations of men and women’s roles and responsibilities in society may impact access to justice after experiencing domestic violence.

Speaking at the opening of the magistrate’s consultation, Chief Justice Owen Paulsen said the judiciary has a responsibility to act as an agent for social change.

“We are uniquely placed as we can provide effective remedies for the benefit of the victims affected by violence. The decisions of the Judges have lasting impacts upon the lives of victims and also upon the lives of perpetrators, children and other family members. We as Judges should be sending a clear message that domestic violence is unacceptable and that perpetrators are accountable for their actions. In that way we will not only establish public confidence in the judiciary but provide a platform for discussion and education about domestic violence and its effects,” Chief Justice Paulsen said.

As an outcome of the two days’ consultation, RRRT is developing draft guidelines that will assist the magistrates in dealing with their cases and applying the Family Protection Act.
The lawyers’ workshop focussed on assisting lawyers to better understand domestic violence and its impact on victims; discussed and analysed the challenges with the application of the Family Protection Act; and analysed procedure, evidence and remedies provided in the Family Protection Act.

“As lawyers we aim to ensure the rule of law and to help in the development of the people of Tonga,” Acting Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions, ‘Aminiasi Kefu said during the opening of the Lawyers’ workshop.

“Domestic violence is a limit to development, to the development of financial prospects for our country, and also to the promise that children and family members are born with. The rationale for this Act is honourable, as it emphasises the need for protection of the family that was the main drive for this legislation,” Mr Kefu added.

Media contact
Onorina Saukelo RRRT Communications Assistant, [email protected] or +679 330 5582

Useful link: SPC Regional Rights Resource Team: http://rrrt.spc.int

Yaren, Nauru – Members of Parliament and senior government officials from Nauru are this week participating in a seminar on human rights, good governance and sustainable development.
The event is organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) through its Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from the European Union and the Australian Government.

In his opening remarks, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, the Hon Asterio Appi, said the issues of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and human rights are topical and assume high significance for Nauru and its future.

“I am more than happy that SPC and UNDP have come out with this important initiative of briefing and engaging members of parliament on these issues. I am hopeful that the outcomes of this seminar will bear fruit and will enable MPs to discharge their parliamentary duties in a meaningful way as far as these issues are concerned,” Deputy Speaker Appi said.

The human rights sessions facilitated by SPC are discussing human rights in Nauru, including the State’s obligations and key challenges; the linkages between social and economic development and human rights; Nauru’s Family Protection and Domestic Violence Bill the journey so far; and the national human rights institutions in Nauru.

At the end of the seminar, MPs will deliberate on the roles and responsibilities of MPs to promote, protect, respect and fulfil human rights.

“Parliament is the highest decision and law making institution in Nauru and it is important that we help sensitise elected MPs to their role as guardians of human rights for the citizens of Nauru,” SPC’s Acting RRRT Director, Nicol Cave, said.

One outcome of the seminar will be a paper for the Nauru Cabinet with a set of recommendations to advance human rights for all in Nauru.

At a regional consultation in 2015, MP’s from 11 Pacific nations formally recognised the vital role of Parliament and parliamentarians to respect, fulfil, protect and promote the inherent rights of all people in the Pacific, and called upon SPC, through RRRT, to roll out national MPs consultations to progress human rights, good governance and development.
To date, the MPs consultations have been held in Fiji, Marshall Islands, Kiribati and Tuvalu.

RRRT will offer ongoing support to Nauru to meet the commitments the Government of Nauru has made through its ratification of key international human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December.

Media contact
Onorina Saukelo RRRT Communications Assistant, [email protected] or +679 330 5582

Useful link: SPC Regional Rights Resource Team: http://rrrt.spc.int


Nadi, Fiji- A practical guide for using statistics to report on Pacific Island countries’ progress with implementing international human rights treaties is due to be finalised this week.
Government representatives from 10 Pacific countries are participating in a regional consultation that begins today in Nadi, Fiji, aimed at validating a draft Pacific Statistical Guidebook to Human Rights Reporting that has been put together by the Pacific Community (SPC).

Relevant statistics on civil and political rights, and for economic, social and cultural rights, will be tested by the participants during the three-day workshop (8-10 November) to validate a core set of statistical indicators which could be used across a range of human right reports.

Organised by SPC through its Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT), the consultation is supported by the European Union and the Australian Government.

The consultation will also identify any gaps in the guidebook and suggest improvements.

The final guidebook will then be published and the tool sent to Pacific governments to assist them in their human rights treaty reporting.

Among the common ratified treaties in the Pacific are the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW);the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The guidebook was compiled following a 2014 workshop at which SPC and the United Nations Statistics Division in New York brought together statisticians and human rights and gender representatives from the Pacific to discuss the crucial links between statistics and reporting on human rights treaties.

“These resources have been developed collaboratively to overcome the challenges participants faced in the current reporting process which require data and statistics to be accessible and available in order to meet international human rights reporting requirements,” explained SPC Gender Statistics Advisor, Kim Robertson, who has had a lead role in drafting the guide.

The countries taking part in the consultation are Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

With the support from SPC through RRRT and regional partners, there has been a gradual increase in Pacific states submitting long-overdue human rights reports to the United Nations Treaty Committees.

The new guidebook will be an additional resource to help states continue this progress.


Media contact
Onorina Saukelo RRRT Communications Assistant, [email protected] or +679 330 5582
Useful link: SPC Regional Rights Resource Team: http://rrrt.spc.int

Nadi, Fiji – A regional consultation has opened in Fiji today on the participation of Pacific Island countries in the United Nations-led review process of national human rights records.

The consultation will assist 11 Pacific countries to prepare for the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by sharing stories of impact and major gains, including examples of best practice in the region.

It is the latest event organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) through its Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) to help countries commit to, and observe, international human rights standards.

Supported by the European Union, the Government of the Netherlands and the Australian Government, the four-day (11-14 October) human rights dialogue in Nadi provides a platform for Pacific countries to share their experiences with the UPR process and learn from one another.

In her opening remarks, SPC Deputy Director-General, Dr Audrey Aumua, saluted the efforts under the UPR process to date by Federated State of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

“The Pacific region has been able to utilise the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, as well as other treaty body processes, and these have provided an opportunity to promote and protect the rights of Pacific people, focused at the national level,” Dr Aumua said.

“This south-south learning on relevant challenges and achievements is important and so is documenting the journey of interacting with this global UN process, not only for ourselves but as an accountability process for people in our region,” she said.

All Pacific States have completed two four-year UPR cycles (2008-2011 and 2013-2016), with the third set to take place over four years from April 2017 to 2021.

For Pacific countries that are UN Member States, it provides the opportunity to draw the world’s attention to the realities and challenges of implementing human rights and declare what actions they have taken to improve human rights in their countries.

This includes how States have begun to implement the human rights recommendations from the UPR; the challenges small islands states experience in implementing accepted recommendations; and identifying possible strategies towards advancing recommendations.

The dialogue this week will raise awareness of challenges that may need addressing with the assistance of donors and other bilateral partnerships, and also map implementation strategies between reviews, including identifying policies, models, mechanisms and tools for implementation.


Media contact
Onorina Saukelo RRRT Communications Assistant, [email protected] or +679 330 5582

Useful link: SPC Regional Rights Resource Team: http://rrrt.spc.int

 

Tarawa, Kiribati- Members of Parliament from all outer islands of Kiribati have participated in consultations this week about the nation’s human rights challenges, progress, achievements and plans.

The Pacific Community (SPC), with support from the European Union and the Australian Government, hosted a ‘Dialogue on Human Rights for Good Governance and Development’ with Kiribati Cabinet members, ministers and other members of parliament (MPs).

Held in Tarawa two days after the sitting of Parliament, the dialogue gave MPs an opportunity to explore and promote the integration of human rights into parliamentary proceedings and systems, recognising human rights as a fundamental building block for health, peace and prosperity in Kiribati.

“This dialogue is an important step in consolidating and facilitating Kiribati decision makers towards further strengthening of their Parliamentary roles which require understanding of basic human rights as a tool to serve well the people they stand for,” Kiribati’s Minister for Women, Youth and Social Affairs, the Hon. David Collins, said at the event opening.

Minister Collins noted that the focus of the consultations “aligns strongly to our new government’s policy and ‘words of commitment’ to the people of Kiribati on human rights, anti-corruption and an agenda that will ensure democracy and transparency remain the strong foundation of our national commitment to serve and nurture our people”.

In his opening remarks, the Speaker of Parliament, the Hon. Teatao Teannanki, emphasised that MPs have a golden and important opportunity through the dialogue to strengthen their responsibilities as duty bearers.

“To fulfil our duties, we need to develop a clear understanding of human rights, and our roles as key decision makers of Kiribati to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of all people in Kiribati, including the rights to culture, identity, family, health, peace and economic opportunity,” the Speaker said.

MPs discussed issues such as corruption and its impact on human rights and development; domestic violence, including Kiribati’s new Domestic Violence Act, Te Rau n Te Mwenga, and its implementation; international human rights frameworks including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the need for reporting to these core treaties.

SPC, through its Regional Rights Resource Team, will provide a paper to Cabinet expanding on these and other issues arising from the dialogue.

The Acting Director of RRRT, Nicol Cave, thanked all partners who had contributed over a number of months to ensure the event’s relevance to the Parliament, context, culture and priorities of Kiribati.

“Working together has made it possible for MPs to tap into the combined expertise of their Speaker, the Minister for Women and his able team at the Ministry of Women, Youth and Social Affairs, UN Women, UNICEF, the local disability organisation, Te toa Matoa, and SPC,” Ms Cave said.

Human rights provide a set of legal and moral standards to guide the work of governments and other political and social actors.

Without good governance and the protection and promotion of human rights, sustainable and equitable development cannot be achieved.

At a regional consultation in Denarau, Fiji, in 2015, MP’s formally recognised the vital role of Parliament and parliamentarians to respect, fulfil, protect and promote the inherent rights of all people in the Pacific, and called upon SPC, through RRRT, to roll out national MPs consultations to progress human rights, good governance and development.


Media contacts
Onorina Saukelo, SPC Communications Officer, [email protected] or +679 330 5582

Useful link:
SPC’s Regional Rights Resource Team- rrrt.spc.int

 
 
Suva, Fiji- The Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today launched a publication which sheds light on progress made in building a human rights culture in the Pacific.
 
Launched on the International Day for Democracy, ‘Human Rights in the Pacific: A Situational Analysis’ captures the human rights achievements and challenges of 16 Pacific countries between 2012 and May 2016.
 
It also identifies gaps and opportunities to advance priority human rights issues confronting the Pacific.
 
While it is not a detailed review or in-depth analysis of all laws, policies and practices of human rights by Pacific governments, it builds on an earlier publication by the United Nations Human Rights Office titled, Human Rights in the Pacific; Country Outlines.
 
Developed with funding from the European Union, the publication provides legislators, policy makers, academics, government and those interested in human rights in the Pacific with a resource and evidence-base to inform ongoing work.
 
All Pacific countries have now completed two cycles of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) - a unique process which reviews the human rights records of all United Nations member states. During these UPR reviews, most human rights issues covered in this publication were raised in discussions and captured in reports submitted to the UPR Review by other stakeholders including civil society organisations and United Nations agencies.
 
The 16 Pacific countries covered in the report are: Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
 
SPC, through its Regional Rights Resource Team, supports all 22 Pacific Community island members in building a culture of human rights, and assists nation states to commit to, and observe, international human rights standards.
 
 
Media contacts:
Onorina Saukelo, SPC Communications, [email protected] or +679 330 5582 
Useful links:
SPC Regional Rights Resource Team- rrrt.spc.int
 
 
Situational AnalysisHuman Rights in the Pacific: A Situational Analysis captures the human rights achievements and challenges of 16 Pacific countries between 2012 and May 2016.
It identifies gaps and opportunities to advance priority human rights issues confronting the Pacific.
The publication provides legislators, policy makers, academics, government and those interested in human rights in the Pacific with a resource and evidence-base to inform ongoing work.
The publication is produced by SPC’s RRRT with support from the European Union.
The 16 Pacific countries covered in the report are: Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
 
 
 
                                                                  View|Download

Professor David Robie, prominent journalist and Director of Auckland University of Technology’s Pacific Centre, shared his experiences of human rights coverage in the region and stressed the role of the news media as watchdogs at a Human Rights and Media Forum held on 13–15 April 2016 in Nadi, Fiji. Professor Robie was chief guest.

Senior journalists and government communication officers from 13 Pacific countries participated in the forum, which had the theme: Enhancing a human rights-based approach to news reporting.  

“Human rights-oriented journalism is more focused on global rather than on selective reporting, with an emphasis on the vulnerable and empowerment for the affected and marginalised people - a voice for the voiceless,” Professor Robie said.

After the forum, he said “Journalists ought to be human rights defenders and bear witness to Pacific human rights violations. This forum was remarkably successful in providing the tools for a wide range of Pacific media people to bring accountability to offenders against human rights. I congratulate the Pacific Community's Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) on organising this important forum.”

The forum, which was supported by the Australian Government and European Union, released an outcomes document, reaffirming the vital role the media play and recognising the importance of strengthening news reporting, using a human rights-based approach. 

The outcomes document also acknowledges the importance of building a strong relationship between government communication personnel and journalists in sharing information and the roles they play in disseminating information. This document is being formatted into a poster for newsrooms in the region.

Romulo Nayacalevu, SPC’s Human Rights Adviser, said, “The media have a powerful voice in highlighting human rights issues and concerns, and this workshop provides the opportunity for journalists to dialogue on human rights and the media. SPC is delighted to work closely with the Pacific media to support their work in human rights reporting and we are excited about the outcomes document, which provides them with tips on how to do that.”

Giving a Pacific journalist’s perspective, Stanley Simpson, Managing Director of Business Melanesia Ltd, stressed that journalists in the region are frequently victims of human rights abuses while reporting on human rights in the region.

“Pacific journalists are often young and almost always broke, some have very little life experience, they are underpaid and overworked, they get threatened and intimidated regularly, and they endure a high pressure environment.

“People like to see journalists as instruments of change, but sometimes journalists just feel that they are being used by different sides with different agendas. So often they are going through the day-to-day slog of getting a newspaper or news bulletin out – it is easy to forget that they have the potential to influence change. It is important that this is addressed and journalists understand their roles as agents of change,” he said.

Belinda Kora, News Director of Papua New Guinea FM, agreed that journalists can influence change but their reporting must be responsible.

“I keep reminding my reporters that when it comes to reporting about human rights, if your story does not impact on the lives of victims or anyone else for that matter, you are only taking up space,” Ms Kora said.

She added that, importantly, journalists need to know their rights to be able to report responsibly. “How can we journalists in the region report effectively if we don’t know our rights?” Ms Kora asked.

The three-day forum strengthened media capacity in rights-based reporting to reflect the aspirations of Pacific Island communities for equality, development and social justice, said RRRT Team Leader, Nicol Cave.

Marian Kupu of Broadcom Broadcasting Limited, Tonga, said, “I found the three-day forum very encouraging because I learnt about my country’s human rights commitments and I see my role as a journalist to report on the gaps in order to encourage decision makers to prioritise and address the issues.”

‘Giving voice to the voiceless’ and ‘championing the rights of all peoples’ were key messages highlighted at the forum.

The forum was organised by the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) of the Pacific Community in partnership with the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme, the Pacific Islands News Association and the Journalism Programme of the University of the South Pacific.

Professor David Robie, prominent journalist and Director of Auckland University of Technology’s Pacific Centre, shared his experiences of human rights coverage in the region and stressed the role of the news media as watchdogs at a Human Rights and Media Forum held on 13–15 April 2016 in Nadi, Fiji. Professor Robie was chief guest.

Senior journalists and government communication officers from 13 Pacific countries participated in the forum, which had the theme: Enhancing a human rights-based approach to news reporting.  

“Human rights-oriented journalism is more focused on global rather than on selective reporting, with an emphasis on the vulnerable and empowerment for the affected and marginalised people - a voice for the voiceless,” Professor Robie said.

After the forum, he said “Journalists ought to be human rights defenders and bear witness to Pacific human rights violations. This forum was remarkably successful in providing the tools for a wide range of Pacific media people to bring accountability to offenders against human rights. I congratulate the Pacific Community's Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) on organising this important forum.”

The forum, which was supported by the Australian Government and European Union, released an outcomes document, reaffirming the vital role the media play and recognising the importance of strengthening news reporting, using a human rights-based approach. 

The outcomes document also acknowledges the importance of building a strong relationship between government communication personnel and journalists in sharing information and the roles they play in disseminating information. This document is being formatted into a poster for newsrooms in the region.

Romulo Nayacalevu, SPC’s Human Rights Adviser, said, “The media have a powerful voice in highlighting human rights issues and concerns, and this workshop provides the opportunity for journalists to dialogue on human rights and the media. SPC is delighted to work closely with the Pacific media to support their work in human rights reporting and we are excited about the outcomes document, which provides them with tips on how to do that.”

Giving a Pacific journalist’s perspective, Stanley Simpson, Managing Director of Business Melanesia Ltd, stressed that journalists in the region are frequently victims of human rights abuses while reporting on human rights in the region.

“Pacific journalists are often young and almost always broke, some have very little life experience, they are underpaid and overworked, they get threatened and intimidated regularly, and they endure a high pressure environment.

“People like to see journalists as instruments of change, but sometimes journalists just feel that they are being used by different sides with different agendas. So often they are going through the day-to-day slog of getting a newspaper or news bulletin out – it is easy to forget that they have the potential to influence change. It is important that this is addressed and journalists understand their roles as agents of change,” he said.

Belinda Kora, News Director of Papua New Guinea FM, agreed that journalists can influence change but their reporting must be responsible.

“I keep reminding my reporters that when it comes to reporting about human rights, if your story does not impact on the lives of victims or anyone else for that matter, you are only taking up space,” Ms Kora said.

She added that, importantly, journalists need to know their rights to be able to report responsibly. “How can we journalists in the region report effectively if we don’t know our rights?” Ms Kora asked.

The three-day forum strengthened media capacity in rights-based reporting to reflect the aspirations of Pacific Island communities for equality, development and social justice, said RRRT Team Leader, Nicol Cave.

Marian Kupu of Broadcom Broadcasting Limited, Tonga, said, “I found the three-day forum very encouraging because I learnt about my country’s human rights commitments and I see my role as a journalist to report on the gaps in order to encourage decision makers to prioritise and address the issues.”

‘Giving voice to the voiceless’ and ‘championing the rights of all peoples’ were key messages highlighted at the forum.

The forum was organised by the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) of the Pacific Community in partnership with the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme, the Pacific Islands News Association and the Journalism Programme of the University of the South Pacific.



SPC’s Regional Rights Resource Team receives core funding from the Australian Government and additional project support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Pacific Leadership Programme (PLP), European Union (EU) and the German Development Bank (KfW).