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.