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Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review

For use of information media; not an official record

Date: Monday 3 May (afternoon)

Country under review: KIRIBATI

Concerned country - national report

  • Represented by a 7-member delegation and headed by the Minister for Internal and Social Affairs, Honourable Kouraiti Beniato
  • National report presented by Honourable Kouraiti Beniato

Highlights

  • Country highly dependent, technically and financially, on the assistance of the international community to fully achieve its human rights objectives and pledges.
  • 68% of women experiencing physical or sexual violence.
  • Commitment to address violence against women (awareness programmes, capacity building and specific unit within the police, legislative review, assistance to victims, etc.).
  • Review of the legislation on child protection and juvenile justice underway, with the help of the UNICEF.
  • Education compulsory by law up to secondary school levels.
  • Education Sector Strategic Plan to address the decline in the standard of quality education. Review of the curriculum and upgrading of Kiribati Teachers Colleges completed.
  • Adverse impact of climate change. Public awareness programmes. Pilot projects on water and coastal protection. Offshore relocation envisaged.

Interactive discussion

Number of States taking part in the discussion

  • Member States: 16
  • Observer States: 12

Positive achievements

  • National Action Plan to eliminate gender-based violence.
  • National Advisory Committee on Children.
  • National Policy on Disability.
  • Free education and subsidies for education costs, including transportation costs.
  • Abolition of the death penalty.
  • HIV/AIDS National Strategic Plan.  

Issues and questions raised
 

  • Violence against women.
  • Sexual abuse, prostitution and corporal punishment of children.
  • Discrimination based on sex, gender and disability.
  • Limitations to the freedom of expression on the grounds of public morale or national culture.
  • Access to safe drinking water and poor sanitation.
  • Criminalization of homosexuality.

Recommendations

  • Take further steps to combat violence against women and children.
  • Investigate and prosecute all cases of rape and domestic assault.
  • Prohibit sexual harassment by law.
  • Take measures to combat sale and trafficking of children, child pornography and children prostitution.
  • Amend Constitution and legislation to expand the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, disability and economic status.
  • Promote and support the participation of women in decision-making.
  • Reinforce the combat against HIV / AIDS and cooperate with the World Health organization and other international organizations in that field.
  • Ratify core human rights treaties such as the Convention against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Rome Statute.
  • Issue standing invitation to Special Procedures.

Response of the concerned country

  • Discrimination and violence against women – Specific legislation and programmes underway. Amendment of the Constitution requires 2/3 majority of the voting population and Parliament.
  • Ratification of core human rights treaties – Requires a detailed analysis on the costs and benefits, as well as support from the international community.
  • Rights of the child – Ongoing legislative reform. Financial and technical assistance is required.
  • Climate change – Serious concern, with potential human rights and development implications for Kiribati.
  • Decriminalization of homosexuality– Sensitive issue. Because of the cultural barrier, it is difficult to legislate on this field.

Adoption of the report by the UPR working group scheduled on
Wednesday 5 May, 17:30 – 18:00

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