The geographic region of the Pacific includes roughly 10,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific island countries make up the Pacific Community of 26 members.
They include the 22 Pacific Island countries and territories served by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC):
American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna plus Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States of America (four of the founding countries).
RRRT is currently implementing activities in seven of the Pacific island countries: Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia and Vanuatu.
The purpose of the training is to promote social justice and good governance through the increased application of human rights principles in legal proceedings.
Similarly, RRRT facilitate consultations every two years where judges from the region converge to discuss the application of human rights principles in policy and law.
Additionally, RRRT provides human rights training to law students through the post-graduate Pacific Diploma in Legal Practise offered by the University of the South Pacific.
RRRT provides focused training for legal practitioners because they are key agents in the implementation of international human rights standards at the national level.
Legal practitioners can affect access to justice, policy environments and development agendas.
Demonstrating the benefit and application of human rights principles to legal practitioners serves to improve justice and governance mechanisms.
An enhanced human rights culture strengthens the rule of law and democracy in the Pacific.
The consultations seek to include several members of parliament from each Pacific Island country that is a member of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
The MPs receive presentations and debate issues pertinent to the Pacific region and context.
The consultations focus on significant and emerging human rights issues in the Pacific region, including sexual and gender based violence, human rights and climate change, disability inclusiveness and HIVAIDS.
The consultations also explain the processes for ratifying international human rights conventions in Pacific Island countries and the participation of countries in the UN Universal Periodic Review and other international human rights mechanisms.
Key outcomes of MP's consultations include:
The 2014 National Human Rights Award initiative
Since 1999, the Pacific Human Rights Award has been organised and offered at the regional level.
This year 2014, RRRT is proud to announce that the initiative will be taken down to the national level in 6 Pacific Island countries namely FSM, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu to be rolled out in collaboration with relevant Government ministries and institutions in those countries.
To learn more about the 2014 national human rights awards, follow the links below.
Guidelines for entry
Guidelines for entry
Climate change will have considerable impact on the people of the Pacific - from subsistence food production for food security in villages and rural communities to industries and commercial development in towns and cities. Its impacts will be felt in the oceans and on land, which sustain the livelihood and economic activity for a majority of Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs).
Different populations face different risks and have varying capacities to adapt. There are also different perspectives and priorities toward adaptation approached between the national and community levels in many instances.
There is a significant human rights dimension to climate change as it affects the right to food security, safe drinking water, adequate housing and standard of living, personal security, culture and right to life.
Climate change cuts across the full spectrum of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and it is important that these considerations are fully integrated into adaptation decision making processes and overall climate responses nationally and regionally. Communities in the Pacific need to be informed, have a voice and be empowered to act.
The RRRT Programme continues to bring attention to the human rights dimension of climate change through supporting education and awareness on using a human rights framework as part of adaptation, agreements and negotiations with lawyers through the Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (PDLP), with Members of Parliament and through mainstreaming climate change and human rights education in training programmes.
It is clear that a discourse on climate change and human rights is emerging, and the use of a human rights framework by policy makers and key stakeholders involved in climate change work is rather limited.
The Team is engaged with the issue in the following ways:
In addition through the provision of technical advice in treaty and Universal Periodic Review reporting, we will ensure that human rights reports capture issues connected with climate change.
In addition, we will continue to mainstream climate change and human rights into all training for civil society groups, adaptation projects and in regional climate change meetings to ensure that human rights becomes integral to climate change planning and implementation by regional and national bodies.
For more information on human rights and climate change see http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/HRAndClimateChange/Pages/HRClimateChangeIndex.aspx
Download the PDF version of the flyer below.