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Proceedings of the Fourteenth Triennial Conference of Pacific Women And Seventh Meeting of Pacific Ministers for Women

Proceedings of the Fourteenth Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 7th meeting of Pacific Ministers for women

Youth Work Resources

Youth Work Resources

New project to enhance cultural and creative industries in the Pacific

Submitted by Admin on Thu, 29/07/2021 - 11:44
Publish Published
2021
English

A new project aimed at increasing capacity and sustainability of cultural and creative industry initiatives in national economies has been recently launched by the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) – European Union Programme.

The Project titled “Enhancing capacity for the sustainability of Cultural and Creative Industries in the Pacific”(Pacific CCI)  is a 3-year project providing financial support, technical advice, mentoring and capacity building support to artists and cultural producers from the  Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The project is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with financial contribution of the EU and support of the Secretariat of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.

As part of the first phase of the project, an open call for expressions of interest (EOI) was made on June 12 for creatives, artists, cultural producers, local businesses, national culture and art agencies and institutions from the ACP-Pacific region.

According to Dr Frances Vaka’uta, Team Leader Culture for Development from SPC’s Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) Division, the Pacific CCI project seeks to increase the contribution and recognition of the culture and creative sector to economic revenue and commercial engagement in the region through a grant scheme.

“This project recognises that Pacific arts and culture are unique and can make a significant contribution to national economies while developing sustainably to safeguard cultural practices and traditions for future generations and supporting creative innovation” Frances Vaka’uta said.

“So far we have received more than 400 submissions following Phase 1 of the EOI process (which closed on 11 July) from 15 targeted countries including Timor Leste,” she noted.

Frances Vaka’uta also explained that the first set of grantees will be selected specifically based on the grant scheme priorities such as the creation of high-quality goods and services; improved access to national, regional and international markets; increased visual literacy education and improved access to sustainable financing and reduction in dependency on international financing arrangements.

 She added that shortlisted applicants from the EOI process will be taken through information sharing sessions and a grant writing workshop before they submit their formal proposals for the grant scheme.

Associate Professor Verena Thomas, Team Leader of the collaborating team from Queensland University of Technology said that:

"This project is an opportunity to recognise the creative and cultural industries as key drivers for sustainable economies across the Pacific, to create stronger networks and to communicate the creative and cultural knowledge of the Pacific to the world. We are excited about working closely with artists, creative enterprises and institutions to explore our connections, share our experiences and learn from each other."

For more information on the Project, please visit here.

Media Contact:

Kalpana Nizarat, Communications and Visibility Officer, SPC HRSD | E: [email protected]

News Category

Joint Release

Division

Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) Division

Country List

A reawakening of cultures

Submitted by Admin on Fri, 23/07/2021 - 15:40
English

Creative and cultural sectors across the Pacific and the world, have been among the hardest hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the value of arts and culture is often framed in strictly economic terms and there is no denying the significant contribution to the tourism industry, or the taxation revenue created by cultural events and exhibitions, the creative and cultural sectors of the Pacific serve a far deeper and more important role for the people of this region.

In the Pacific, our culture is our identity; one that comprises spiritual faith and customary beliefs and practices. We have a unique variety of languages and art including storytelling, chants, poetry, songs, dances, attires and handicrafts that highlight the diversity of culture in each country, province and village. For a region whose cultures are people-centred, with in-person interaction and engagement critical to many expressions of culture (notably ceremonies), one of the key challenges faced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has been social distancing requirements and limitations to group gatherings.

COVID-19 forced the world and our ‘continent of islands’ into lockdowns that lasted for months. Economic, social and cultural life came to a standstill as borders closed, travel was restricted and became more costly and quarantine made compulsory. Freedom of movement was restricted, and gatherings and events were postponed or cancelled in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19 and ease the pressure on health care systems. One of these events was the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FestPAC), a large celebration of indigenous Pacific Islanders and cultures.

First launched in 1972 by the Pacific Community (SPC), FestPAC was created to showcase arts and culture and to halt the erosion of traditional practices through ongoing cultural exchanges. Since 1972, 12 Pacific countries have hosted FestPAC, with the next festival now scheduled for June 2024 in Hawaiʻi. The 2020 postponement, however, has not meant that the work in the cultural and creative sectors have come to a standstill.

While life in the real world changed dramatically because of COVID-19 control measures, the online world became even more important with the reliance on technology to ensure work continued. This has, in turn, shaped our “new normal”. In keeping with this, SPC has been working with the Council of Pacific Arts and Culture (CPAC) to continue the work of reviewing the Regional Cultural Strategy (RCS). As the regional strategy for the promotion, preservation, and protection of Pacific cultures, the RCS provides a responsive framework to current and potential future issues that impact the cultural sector and influence the living cultural experience, values and identities of Pacific people. This responsiveness requires attention to emerging contemporary issues. Over time, this has extended from an initial emphasis of safeguarding cultural heritage to other sustainable development needs and issues, including globalisation, geopolitics, climate change, oceans and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.

The impact of COVID-19 on Pacific cultures has been a widely discussed topic during the RCS review, with members sharing reflections and learnings from their jurisdictions. Despite its disadvantages, COVID-19 appears to have also presented an opportunity for the Pacific to realise the importance of cultural ways of being and knowing, and the strength and resilience our cultures bring to our ways of being. The pandemic has allowed us as a region to retrace our steps and in some cases, re-learn the importance and value of Pacific culture beyond its association with tourism.

The RCS Working Group considered the question, “how can culture as a human resource contribute to the mitigation of COVID-19 impacts?”. In response, members shared that a lot of positive stories had emerged of how culture had helped mitigate the impacts of the current crisis. Notable examples include the revival of barter trading, now facilitated largely via social media; the return to backyard farming and food production, subsistence fisheries, and traditional medicines and massage; the use of arts and crafts as a coping mechanism for stress; and the rediscovery of ‘slow‘ food, in a change from the fast-food lifestyle that has become synonymous with modern Pacific living.

Members of the RCS Working Group noted that as a result of COVID-19 measures, more time was spent within families and more attention given to food security, fostering stronger, collective cultural responsibility and wellbeing (traditional social protection and sharing, collective community food security), as well as a revitalisation of traditional knowledge on food production and preservation. Pacific people returned to the land, the ocean and cultural and traditional ways of living to sustain them during the crisis.

While the increased attention to cultural resilience was highlighted as a positive, other members suggested that lockdowns, restrictions, limited public gatherings and physical distancing had created unprecedented stress and anxiety among people as these measures undermined cultural rights, holistic health and wellbeing.

Some members of the RCS Working Group noted that the work on the draft RCS had helped inform their responses and actions with their governments, and all agreed that the impacts of the pandemic would be detrimental in the short- and long-term of the creative arts and cultural sector. Among the national issues raised were reduced international and domestic tourism, ‘state of emergency’ regulations, budget cutbacks, rising unemployment and domestic violence reports, and limitations on social gatherings impacting live performances and gatherings in public spaces.

More serious impacts were also identified such as limited or no opportunities for potential new entrants to the arts and creative industries sector; limited government budget allocation and donor partner appropriations for the cultural sector; potential impacts of the digital divide reinforcing existing inequalities; as well as the potential exploitation of indigenous and traditional knowledge as a result of virtual convening. However, it was also acknowledged that there is potential in supporting the online culture and arts sector through initiatives such as virtual live performances and museum and gallery tours, providing that there are adequate safeguards for intellectual property, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. As part of ongoing discussions, FestPAC is now considering options for a hybrid virtual/in-person event in 2022.

As the work to review the RCS continues, it is interesting to note that it has taken a crisis like COVID-19 to revive or reawaken our cultural ways of being. We are also reminded that keeping culture and culture-related work alive is crucial, crisis or not. While we may differ culturally and in many other ways, as people of the Pacific we all share a common need to better safeguard, sustain and promote our cultures. The next phase of the RCS will attempt to capture sustainable development aspirations and protective mechanisms for Pacific cultures.

Country List

Pacific-style Advocacy

Submitted by Admin on Wed, 30/09/2020 - 13:35
Publish Published
2020
English

By Martin Child and Josephine Kalsuak

The Pacific is well-known around the world for its strong culture of dialogue, debate and consensus-driven decision-making, and how resolutions on important issues are never rushed, to ensure better outcomes. So, it was only natural that the most successful Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) pursue a ‘Pacific-style advocacy’ approach to human rights issues. This approach has proven to be extremely popular in local communities and has opened the door to important discussions and debates across our region.  

Around the world, CSOs perform a key role in improving the lives of women, men, children, people with disabilities, the elderly and other marginalised groups. The work of these organizations’ supplements, compliments and, at times, challenges the work of national governments, holding them accountable for the needs and rights of all people. CSOs in the Pacific in particular, play a key role in awareness-raising and advocacy actions directed at social change in the region.

This year the Pacific Community, in recognition of the growing impact and importance of civil society issues, merged its Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) and Social Development Programme (SDP) into the new Human Rights and Social Development Division (HRSD). One of the priority areas for this new division is the ongoing support for CSOs through the Pacific People Advancing Change (PPAC) programme.  

With funding provided by the Governments of Sweden and Australia, PPAC continues to support Pacific-style advocacy campaigns on a range of critical human rights issues. The support targets CSOs in the Federated State of Micronesia (FSM), Kingdom of Tonga, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The programme includes advocacy training workshops, ongoing mentoring and provision of small grants.

The PPAC programme is unique in the sense that it recognises a significant proportion of CSOs in the Pacific region are based in rural areas or in locations otherwise underserved by similar programmes. The programme also recognises that, in order to see effective social change, it is important to provide CSOs with financial support along with training and ongoing mentoring to build their capacity. Grantees under the PPAC programme have campaigned on violence against women, youth empowerment, right to health, the rights of people with disabilities, waste management, climate change and more.

A common approach adopted in PPAC advocacy campaigns is to place people at the centre; this proved extremely valuable during the adverse times the region faces due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The PPAC in-country staff have been instrumental in providing continuous capacity-building support to the CSOs, resulting in more targeted support for the communities.

A good example of the contextualised Pacific style-advocacy was seen in RMI where two PPAC grantees, Jo Jikum and the Marshall Islands Conservation Society, advocated against single-use plastic and promoted reusable bags to enhance the right to a clean and healthy environment. The two CSOs collaborated with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and other government agencies and formed the Eniwot Juon (Say never mind, no need) public information campaign.

Further success stories have emerged from FSM. Assistance to a grantee in FSM ultimately led to the formation of a Disabled Person’s Organisation. This organisation was formally registered to advocate for the rights of people with disability in Chuuk state. Another grantee, Micronesian Productions, successfully lobbied for the passage of the Pohnpei Disability Act, which the legislature passed in August 2019.

Also in FSM, the Care Micronesia Foundation successfully lobbied Pohnpei State to increase the age of consent and marriageable age from 16 to 18 years in 2019 to ensure alignment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This organisation collaborated with the Public Safety officers in Pohnpei to raise awareness on law change.

Moving to the Kingdom of Tonga, PPAC grantee Seleka succeeded in getting school principals, teachers, community leaders and parents of students in high schools in Tongatapu, Eua and Vava’u, to acknowledge the capabilities of young people in using art to promote youth empowerment. The Tonga Centre for Women and Children used the grant effectively to obtain support from the district officers and community leaders to help prevent domestic violence in Vava’u.

Achievements from the archipelago of Vanuatu showed support from the provincial government in Santo to ensure future public buildings are accessible to people with disabilities following a campaign from Vanuatu Disability Promotion and Advocacy, and the Vanuatu Council of Churches in Port Vila used the grant to promote the prevention of domestic violence using human rights and faith-based approaches. 

In the Solomon Islands, the Auki Market Vendors Association successfully lobbied for local government support of Auki market waste management system to ensure effective disposal and waste management methods in and around the Auki market. Also in the Solomon’s, the Family Support Centre received provincial government endorsement to mainstream Family Protection Act principles into existing Moli and Tetekanji wards by-laws.

These positive examples and achievements demonstrate the potential that local CSOs can unleash when support is provided in a tailored and context-sensitive way. HRSD, through its PPAC programme, recognises that Pacific-style advocacy combined with open dialogue through talanoa, storian or tok story creates the right environment to drive positive social change.

We are looking forward to sharing more PPAC success stories in the coming months and years. 

Tags

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Pacific People Advancing Change (PPAC), Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Government of Sweden - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)

Country List

Miles Young to lead Pacific Community’s (SPC) newly merged Regional Rights Resource Team and Social Development Programme

Submitted by Admin on Fri, 04/09/2020 - 14:46
Publish Published
2020
English

Development Programme

04 September 2020, Suva (Fiji) – The Pacific Community (SPC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Miles Young as the Director of the newly merged Regional Rights Resource Team and Social Development Programme.

The appointment follows the decision by SPC to merge the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) and the Social Development Programme (SDP) to ensure more effective delivery of technical assistance to SPC members in human rights, gender equality and social inclusion, and youth and cultural development, as well as greater impact through SPC’s work in these areas.

Born and raised in Fiji, Young has over 20 years of professional experience as a legal development practitioner across the Pacific, Asia and Africa.  He takes on this new position following his directorship of RRRT from April 2018 to August 2020.  Miles holds degrees in politics and law from the University of Sydney in Australia, and will be based at SPC’s Regional Office in Suva, Fiji.

“I am honoured and excited to be leading this new division. By bringing together the mandates and the skills and experience of RRRT and SDP, the division will deliver better outcomes for the Pacific in the areas of human rights, gender equality and social inclusion, and youth and cultural development.  The division’s mandate also includes ensuring that SPC puts people at the centre of its work, whether in the fisheries sector, in the geoscience sector, in the land resources sector, or in any of the other areas in which SPC serves its members.”   

Practical work is now underway on combining office space, refining reporting structures and establishing a name for the combined division, which is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Media  contact:

Kalpana Nizarat [email protected] SPC RRRT Communications Officer, +679 3370733

Onorina Saukelo, [email protected], SPC RRRT Communications Assistant, +679 3370733

Country List

Young people’s right to be heard, our responsibility to listen

Submitted by Admin on Tue, 11/08/2020 - 16:04
Publish Published
2020
English

Young people’s right be heard, our responsibility to listen

Today the Pacific Community is joining our friends and partners from across the region and around the world in marking International Youth Day. The day has a special significance in the Pacific, where more than half our population is below 25 years of age. There is no denying that the youth of the Pacific will be driving and shaping this region’s future.

The theme for this year’s event, “Youth Engagement for Global Action”, is both a call for change and recognition of the impact youth are having on the global stage. We have seen clearly how a small voice can completely reframe discussions on key international issues. Who could have imagined that a 16-year-old schoolgirl would end up giving a keynote presentation to the United Nations, and influencing global action on climate change?

In the Pacific, the ‘youth bulge’ presents several pressing development challenges for young people, notably universal access to education and training opportunities, decent work and employment, as well as youth-friendly health services, including family planning. Pacific economies are not able to provide enough work opportunities for all young people in the formal sector, and many young people are now turning to alternatives using creativity and entrepreneurial skills from which we can all learn.

In response, the region has increased its attention on youth issues, priorities and the implementation of youth-focused national plans and policies. These policies are being used as entry points for governments and partners to engage in conversations to facilitate support for young people. However, resourcing, and monitoring and evaluation gaps remain a significant challenge.

As a Pacific development organisation, support for the region’s youth, under the Pacific Youth Development Framework (PYDF), is a fundamental part of our strategic planning. In fact, over the past year we have held regular consultations with young Pacific leaders to listen to their concerns and ensure our new Strategic Plan reflects and supports their ambitions and vision for the region.

Today, through SPC’s integrated programming work, our divisions are directly engaging youth as part of their technical activities. This ‘mainstreaming’ of youth engagement has already made a significant and positive contribution to our work.

I want to take this opportunity to commend all the Pacific youth who have been actively participating in vigorous debates on climate change, environmental conservation and climate action, disaster risk management and reduction, health, cultural development, education and human rights, to name a few.

Youth participation in these forums is opening the doors to invaluable views, opinions and creative solutions which otherwise would not be heard. In the wake of COVID-19, youth engagement in these issues at local, national, regional and international levels has become more important than ever.

To celebrate International Youth Day this year, SPC will host an Intergenerational Dialogue and Learning Event, where we will begin a talanoa and regional conversation on ways we in the Pacific can address some of the challenges faced by our youth from COVID-19, and for the longer term development objectives. I am looking forward to hearing your ideas, innovations and experiences during the Virtual Intergenerational Dialogue and Learning Talanoa on Wednesday, 19 August 2020, from 11am-2pm (Fiji).

The youth are the future, as the old saying goes, but it is sometimes easy to forget that their future is directly connected to our present – to the actions we take here and now. The voices of today’s global youth have a right to be heard and we have the responsibility to listen.

On behalf of SPC, I wish you all a very happy International Youth Day.

Blog Category

Director-General

Division

Corporate


Author(s)

Stuart Minchin

Director-General (Noumea)

Before he joined the Pacific Community (SPC) on 23 January 2020, Dr Minchin previously served as Chief of the Environmental Geoscience Division of Geoscience Australia, a centre of expertise in the Australian Government for environmental earth science issues and the custodian of national environmental geoscience data, information and knowledge. He has represented Australia in key international forums and has been the Principal Delegate to both the UN Global Geospatial Information Management Group of Experts (UNGGIM) and the Intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

Country List

Reducing the risk of domestic violence as Pacific communities face strict lockdowns

Submitted by Admin on Tue, 07/04/2020 - 16:59
Publish Published
2020
English

As an increasing number of countries recommend self-isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, households have to adjust their everyday lives and sometimes face anxiety and stress, causing risks of increased domestic violence.

In the Pacific alone, Violence against women (VAW) is all too common, with numbers well above the global average of thirty-five per cent. The risk of women experiencing physical, sexual and psychological violence during the COVID-19 pandemic is quite high, with widespread stay-at-home orders and limited options for the victims to escape their abusers.

The Pacific Community (SPC) is doing its utmost to prevent VAW. Disseminating information that helps fight this terrible plague is one of the tools we’re using. In this regard, we have put together key information points that can help you better understand and address this issue. Here they are.

How does COVID-19 worsen risks of VAW and abuse?

How can you act if you are in a violent relationship?

What to do if you know a victim of VAW/GBV or abuses during the COVID-19 outbreak?

What is SPC doing to address VAW?

Country List

16 days of activism against gender based violence: Yvonne Te Ruki Rangi o Tangaora Underhill-Sem, Associate Professor, University of Auckland

Submitted by Admin on Sun, 08/12/2019 - 13:28
Publish Published
2019
English

16 days of activism against gender based violence: Yvonne Te Ruki Rangi o Tangaora Underhill-Sem, Associate Professor, University of Auckland

“In the Pacific, there are frequent flourishes of recognition for the economic achievements of women. Women running successful internet businesses, women-run businesses securing international contracts; women being appointed to corporate boards; women in male dominated employment sectors; women harvesting bumper agricultural crops; women innovating in the creative industries; women organising cooperative work.  These achievements are worthy of recognition because they surface possibilities for future Pacific societies and because they rightfully highlight the remarkable nature of such success.

At the same time, we are too frequently reminded of enduring tragedies of gender-based violence, extensive sexual harassment of women in the workplace, significant gender pay gaps, the lack of affordable and accessible child care, inequitable tax systems for working women, and poor working conditions for women. These realities require continued considerable attention to those directly and indirectly affected. They also remind us of how far we are from realising our shared aspirations to be citizens of nations we can be proud of because all flourish equally.

A key question to ask when contemplating the success stories against the tragedies and hardships is how can we make these successes somewhat less remarkable and much more transformative of stubborn patriarchal norms.  To answer this, first, we need to recognise the diversity of economies and economic practices that exist in the Pacific.  Second, we need to consider how to protect this diversity in the face of the expansive and dominating nature of capitalist economies where the foremost incentive for economic activity is to deliver profits to shareholders. This requires a pincer movement; on the one hand working to ensure formal economies uphold to the rights of women workers and on the other hand working to foster economic activities based on shared values of generosity, care, respect and reciprocity.”

Country List

Legislation and the Role of Police Prosecutors Across the Pacific in Ending Violence Against Women

Submitted by Admin on Thu, 22/08/2019 - 15:54
Publish Published
2019
English

Legislation and the Role of Police Prosecutors Across the Pacific in Ending Violence Against Women

Story by Onorina Saukelo

Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive violation of human rights in the Pacific. Studies show up to 60% per cent of women and girls have experienced violence at the hands of partners or family members.

Illustration of a woman reporting to police

In the last ten years, and with technical assistance from SPC RRRT, the majority of Pacific Island Countries have adopted domestic violence legislation. This legislation provides protection orders to assist those that are affected by family violence and ensure their safety. It defines and criminalises domestic violence, namely any physical, sexual, psychological, or economic abuse against family members. To date, 13 Pacific Island countries including Vanuatu, and the Kosrae and Pohnpei states in the Federated States of Micronesia have passed domestic violence legislation.

Now, as part of its regional judicial strengthening programme, RRRT has been working with Pacific Island governments to fully implement this legislation to ensure that it provides meaningful and effective rights and remedies for survivors of violence. This work includes the delivery of tailor-made training to justice service providers (magistrates, lawyers and police prosecutors) around the Pacific.

To date, RRRT has been working with Police Prosecutors in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to carry out their roles and responsibilities under the legislation of their respective countries.

RRRT’s goal is that as a result of training Police Prosecutors become more aware of their roles and responsibilities as set out under the nation’s Family Protection Act.

Domestic violence is a human rights violation. Vanuatu families must be protected from the problem of domestic violence and victims of domestic violence must be supported when they seek assistance from Police Prosecutors

“On-going support to justice service providers to better understand their roles under Family Protection and Domestic Violence Legislation is a core part of SPC RRRT’s work on the elimination of violence against women and girls. Police Prosecutors provide an important service in the justice continuum to ensure that the pursuit of effective remedies for victims of domestic violence can be realised through the services they provide,” explains RRRT Senior Human Rights Advisor, Albert Seluka who facilitates the training.

Inspector Smith Obed, a participant at the training held in Vanuatu in March 2019, explained that although the Family Protection Act has been in place for years it has not been fully implemented due to lack of knowledge on the role of Police Prosecutors under the Act. “With this training, we learnt so many new things and it strengthened and equipped us in what to do. For instance, to have a common understanding of the “No Drop Policy”, not to be influenced by custom reconciliation and to have a system or mechanism in place to prioritise domestic violence cases,” he said.

Another Ni-Vanuatu participant, Gloria Charley said the training added to her knowledge of her duties under the Family Protection Act when assisting and dealing with cases of domestic violence. The training has empowered her to advocate to service providers of domestic violence, such as the Police, to fully investigate the issue at hand, rather than playing a mediator role. The training also increased her understanding of the differences between the various Protection Orders set out in the legislation.

Pohnpei Chief of Police, Mr Hermis Edmund

While increased knowledge is one goal of the training it also seeks to change harmful attitudes of Police Prosecutors when dealing with cases of domestic violence. During her opening remarks at the Vanuatu training, the Director  General of the Vanuatu Ministry of Justice and Community Services, Dorosday Kenneth called on Police Prosecutors to believe in the cause legislated under the Family Protection Act

“Police Prosecutors are aware of the existence of the Family Protection Act. However, to ensure that the Act is effectively implemented, Police Prosecutors must believe in the purpose and goal of the Act. Domestic violence is a human rights violation. Vanuatu families must be protected from the problem of domestic violence and victims of domestic violence must be supported when they seek assistance from Police Prosecutors,” she said.

Similar sentiments were expressed at the training of Police Prosecutors in the Solomon Islands. Then RRRT Acting Director, Nicol Cave said, “from a human rights lens, combating family violence means also addressing the barriers that confront victims of family violence when they engage with the justice service providers that offer remedies for their protection”.

These service providers that Ms Cave refers to include Police Prosecutors, and Police Officers who are sometimes charged with investigating cases.

Under the Pohnpei Chief of Police, Mr Hermis Edmund, a domestic violence unit has been established to monitor and investigate domestic violence cases reported to the Police. Altogether there are 79 Public Safety Officers who have this authority under the law. However, “as in the rest of the Pacific, people (including the Police), often feel that what is happening in people’s homes is no-one else’s business so training is key to changing this attitude,” Mr Edmund said.

Throughout the Pacific harmful myths and beliefs about domestic violence prevail. Myths that mean that a victims pleas go unanswered. Myths that lead to re-victimisation. Myths perpetuated in all parts of society.

Speaking at the Police Prosecutors training in RMI Minister for Justice, Jack J. Adding said, “if we were to really understand domestic violence, we will know that it goes against our culture and our faith.”

It is sentiments such as these that drive the contribution of RRRT to the ending of violence against women and girls. In the next months, similar training is planned for Kiribati, Tuvalu, and Nauru.


This training is supported with funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)

Participants at the Police Prosecutors consultation in the Solomon Islands

Participants at the Police Prosecutors consultation in the Marshall Islands

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