Nadi, Fiji- The Pacific Community (SPC) has this week launched a practical guide that will assist Pacific governments in their human rights treaties reporting.

This is the first such document of its kind on human rights reporting under the core human rights treaties in the Pacific.

The Pacific Guide to Statistical Indicators for Human Rights Reporting proposes a set of indicators that are contextually relevant and meaningful for the region, acknowledging the unique challenges and opportunities that Pacific Island countries experience in data collection, national institutions and resources.

Produced by SPC’s Regional Rights Resources Team (RRRT) with funding support from the European Union and the Government of Australia, the guide emerged from, and is informed by two regional workshops held in Nadi, Fiji in 2014 and 2016, with statisticians from the national statistics offices and government focal points on human rights and gender.

The first workshop shared good practices and lessons learned on human rights and gender statistics, and reflected the reality of challenges the region faces in collecting adequate and reliable data, as well as in interpreting available data. It was held in partnership between UN Statistics Division from New York, SPC Statistics Division, SPC Gender Division and SPC RRRT.

Based on these discussions, a set of core indicators were identified and the guide developed. The second workshop validated the indicators contained in the guide, identified any gaps and suggested improvements.

The guide sets out practical information on feasible and aspirational human rights indicators, based on reliable data that can be systematically collected. It also shows how to interpret the data collected under each indicator for reporting.

“The Pacific Guide to Statistical Indicators for Human Rights Reporting is a crucial tool that will assist our governments in addressing the specific articles under the core treaties they are reporting on,” RRRT Senior Human Rights Adviser, Romulo Nayacalevu, said.

“This tool is the result of SPC working with our governments for many years around human rights reporting and responding both to the governments on the need for such tools to guide the reporting exercise as well as the treaty body committee’s recommendations and concerns around lack of crucial information or data around the various articles,” Mr Nayacalevu said.

Statistical indicators are also provided, article-wise, for five core human rights treaties: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), The Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The guide will assist coordinating bodies within Pacific Island governments responsible for preparing initial and periodic reports on the country’s progress on implementation of ratified treaties, as well as those overseeing the implementation of national human rights action plans.

Human rights and gender focal persons will have a reference point for determining the key data they will need to work with national statistics offices in collecting and analysing for these purposes.

It will also help national statistics offices to better understand how the statistical data they collect, analyse and provide feeds into human rights reporting.

The publication is available on the RRRT website at http://rrrt.spc.int/publications-media/publications/item/754-pacific-guide-to-statistical-indicators-for-human-rights-reporting

Media contact:
Onorina Saukelo   RRRT Communications Assistant, [email protected] or +679 330 5582 
About SPC:
SPC is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947. It is an international development organisation owned and governed by its 26 country and territory members.
Useful link: SPC Regional Rights Resource Team
 
 

 

Capture2The Pacific Guide to Statistical Indicators for Human Rights Reporting is the first such document of its kind on human rights reporting under the core human rights treaties in the Pacific.

It proposes a set of indicators that are contextually relevant and meaningful for the region, acknowledging the unique challenges and opportunities that Pacific Island countries experience in data collection, national institutions and resources.

The guide is meant to assist coordinating bodies within Pacific Island governments responsible for preparing initial and periodic reports on the country’s progress on implementation of ratified treaties, as well as those overseeing the implementation of national human rights action plans. The guide will also help national statistics offices to better understand how the statistical data they collect, analyse and provide feeds into human rights reporting.

 

 

Pacific Style-Advocacy is a three mins whiteboard animation produced by SPC’s Regional Rights Resources Team (RRRT).

The animation was developed as part of a Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) funded program entitled, “Implementation of the Pacific People Advancing Change (PPAC) to get across a simple but clear understanding of the concept of advocacy with the objective of inspiring people, CSOs and other groups that change is possible.

 

Nadi, Fiji- Senior education policy and curriculum development officials from the region met on 3-5 April 2017 to map a way forward for their countries to strengthen the human rights, gender equality, civic education and social citizenship components of their national education curriculum.

The meeting, jointly organised by SPC’s Regional Rights Resources Team (RRRT), Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP) and Social Development Programme (SDP) with the support of the Australian Government, discussed the relevance, readiness, and opportunities for implementing human rights curricula in Pacific island countries.

Participants shared experiences from implementing other socially-orientated curricula balancing multiple demands, and generating curriculum content and teaching solutions by drawing on existing skills and expertise. There was consensus on building on existing curricula. Countries represented included Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

Speaking at the opening of the consultation, SPC Deputy Director-General Dr Audrey Aumua, said universal enjoyment of human rights, including equal opportunities and outcomes for women and girls, reflected the best of what Pacific cultures and histories had to offer, and complemented SPC’s vision for prosperity and development in the region.

“Social citizenship education, tailored to country contexts and adaptive to local conditions and challenges will prepare Pacific youth to embrace and own human rights and gender equality,” said Dr Aumua.

RRRT Senior Human Rights Adviser, Dr Jayshree Mangubhai said “This consultation is in the context of SPC’s growing role in this area, and brings together SPC’s significant experience and expertise in human rights, gender, and education design and delivery to address common issues.”

Dr Mangubhai added that this consultation was a critical step in ensuring that school curricula incorporated and promoted respect for the human rights of all and the attendant responsibilities.

Moving ahead, SPC will provide curriculum development, policy review, gender and human-rights mainstreaming and whole of school support to Pacific countries as they integrate human rights and gender equality into the school and education system.

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

Suva, Fiji – The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) has made a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint as it travels to provide technical assistance to Pacific governments and civil societies.

This comes after RRRT signed an agreement with EKOS, a New Zealand based-charity dedicated to environmental protection and social development, to offset carbon dioxide emissions from all RRRT staff flights. A carbon offset is a credit for greenhouse gas reductions achieved by one party that can be purchased and used to compensate (offset) the emissions of another party.

Through this partnership, all emissions related to travel will generate revenue for communities who have given up rights to logging timber and generate carbon credits officially sold on the voluntary carbon market. This scheme is certified by the Plan Vivo standard, the world’s leading Fair trade, community-based rainforest carbon standard.
The agreement demonstrates the programme’s commitment to a reduction in carbon emissions as another way to help curtail the impact of climate change on Pacific people’s rights to health, culture, family and well-being.

Under the agreement, RRRT is committing to offset annually all the flights its Suva and in-country staff undertake for work across the Pacific region, with EKOS then facilitating the carbon offsetting through its two rainforest conservation projects in Fiji and Vanuatu; in Fiji the Drawa Forest Project in Vanua Levu to conserve mature indigenous rainforest through avoiding forest degradation and legal protection of forest area; and in Vanuatu the Loru forest project in Santo to avoid deforestation through forest protection and management, and rehabilitate degraded forest areas.

“As RRRT starts to work more closely on mainstreaming a rights-based and community-centred approach within SPC and in climate change programming, the overall idea is to apply internally RRRT’s advice to member countries. This includes our commitment to an integrated approach to minimize travels within work countries to reduce carbon footprints,” SPC’s RRRT Acting Director, Nicol Cave said.

This offset scheme was set up in collaboration with SPC’s Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability programme, based in Noumea.

“RRRT has been very supportive to our internal environmental sustainability programme from its origin in 2012. This offset scheme is another demonstration of their great motivation on addressing their impact over climate change through more carbon friendly activities. I hope this incentive will give ideas to others in the region, as it is very simple and affordable,” SPC’s Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, Aude Chenet, said.

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

About Us:
SPC is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting sustainable development since 1947. It is an intergovernmental development organisation owned and governed by its 26 country and territory members.

Useful link:
SPC Regional Rights Resource Team

 

Funafuti, Tuvalu – Tuvalu becomes the first Pacific country as well as one of the few in the world, to launch a national action plan on human rights.

Prime Minister Hon. Enele Sopoaga officially launched the Tuvalu National Action Plan yesterday, attended by Tuvalu’s government officials.

The National Action Plan is an outcome of a human rights dialogue with Tuvalu members of parliament in 2015, facilitated by the Pacific Community (SPC) with support from the European Union and the Australian Government.

The Prime Minister said: “When designing this National Action Plan, we were mindful of the challenges that come with implementing various commitments. Our development priorities will assist the marginalised, the old and the young, our men, women and children, our people with disabilities and all those who call Tuvalu home. It is in realising our most basic and fundamental rights that we realise our basic dignity and worth as human beings.”

The Prime Minister explained that the Tuvalu government is pleased to present its National Action Plan (NAP), which has been designed to reflect Tuvalu’s commitment, priorities and concerted efforts towards building our nation where the human rights of our people are safeguarded and protected.

Acting on recommendations from the human rights dialogue, the Tuvalu government sought SPC’s Regional Rights Resources Team’s (RRRT) assistance in conducting a series of stakeholder consultations with Government departments, NGOs and communities to identify human rights and social development priorities, and develop one overall national human rights action plan, aligned with Tuvalu’s National Development Plan.

Acting Director for SPC’s Human Rights program, Nicol Cave said: “This NAP is certainly a remarkable achievement and one deserving of recognition. Today as governments struggle to meet their human rights commitments, it is initiatives such as a NAP that assist government to better prioritise the implementation of their universal commitment to human rights and to realise the human rights of their people.”

SPC Senior Human Rights Adviser, Romulo Nayacalevu added: “SPC is proud to support the Tuvaluan Government and in particular SPC’s RRRT program remains steadfast in assisting the Tuvaluan government to achieve its call presented in the foreword of the Tuvaluan National Action Plan document. We congratulate the government of Tuvalu for this bold step to lead the way in realising the rights of communities, families and individuals in Tuvalu through and the formulation of its National Action Plan.”

The National Action Plan consolidates the country’s human rights commitments and ensures a systematic and coordinated approach to the delivery of the government’s human rights commitment, as well as to strengthen the government’s realisation of human rights in Tuvalu.

It captures Tuvalu’s existing commitments 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.

With technical support from RRRT, this model is being pursued with all SPC member states and territories RRRT provides support to ensure a more coordinated and efficient manner of States tracking and monitoring their different commitments and obligations on human rights.

The National Action Plan is available on RRRT’s website at http://rrrt.spc.int/publications-media/publications/item/740-tuvalu-national-human-rights-action-plan.

ABOUT US

The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947. It is an international development organisation owned and governed by its 26 country and territory members.

Media contact

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

Useful link:

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

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.
 

 

                                                                                                   

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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



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).