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Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review

For use of information media; not an official record

Date: Wednesday, 4 May 2011 (Afternoon)

Country under review: SOLOMON ISLANDS
 
Documents: The national report A/HRC/WG.6/11/SLB/1;
The compilation report as prepared by the OHCHR A/HRC/WG.6/11/SLB/2;
The summary of stakeholders’ information A/HRC/WG.6/11/SLB/3;

Troika: Jordan, Mauritius, and the United States of America

Concerned country - national report

- Represented by a 6 member delegation and headed by his Excellency Mr. Peter Shanel Agovaka, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade.  

Highlights

- A priority for the Government is peace and reconciliation.
- The Government has undertaken structural, legislative, social and economic reforms.
- The Government has committed itself to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights.
- The Government has signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
- Reports are due to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.  The Government also intends to report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
- The Government has introduced a Sexual and Gender Based Violence Reference Group to address sexual and gender-based violence in the country.
- The Government is committed to the principles of the Millennium Development Goals, the World Fit for Children and other international obligations.
- In 2010, the Government endorsed the National Gender Equality and Women in Development Policy which provides objectives for gender equality and women’s development in the country.
- The National Children’s Policy sets out a rights-based approach development for children.
- The Government has approved a national policy to eliminate violence against women.
- The Government is addressing the question of land ownership which is one of the root causes of ethnic tension.
- Current laws do not criminalize the full range of activities associated with child prostitution.
-The draft Federal Constitution provides for the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution which is compliant with the Paris Principles.
- A monitoring committee will be established to monitor compliance with the Universal Periodic Review.

Interactive discussion

Number of States taking part in the discussion
Member States: 16 Inscribed on the list: 28
Observer States: 12

Positive achievements

- The national report provides an overview of the situation of human rights.
- The Government has made efforts to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights even without adequate resources.
- the State party ratified and signed a large number of international human rights instruments including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
- Holding a generally free and fair 2010 national parliamentary election.
- The Solomon Islands addressed police corruption and impunity.
- The State party is demonstrating a commitment to the establishment of a National Human Rights Commission in accordance with the Paris Principles.
- Ensuring free education and measures to improve accessibility to schools.

Issues and questions raised

- What measures will the Government take to improve the quality of education?
- Lengthy pre-trial detention and Government corruption.
- Violence and discrimination against women.
- The limited resources of the Ombudsman.
- Male dominance in Government limits the role of women.
- Local children and foreign women are often subjected to forced prostitution.
- Domestic and sexual violence against women and children remains a problem.
- What measures has the Government taken to grant equal access to justice for everyone?

Recommendations 

- Include human rights education in the school curricula.
- Continue to work with development partners towards compulsory basic education for all children.
- Pass legislation to make spousal rape a crime, and to ensure that laws address domestic violence.
- Increase public awareness campaigns aimed at discouraging sexual abuse and violence against women.
- Criminalize sexual harassment.
- Criminalize all forms of human trafficking, and ratify the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.
- Become a party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
- Provide greater resources to the court system to reduce the time between a charge and the subsequent court hearing.
- Develop and implement a plan providing for accommodation and assistance to persons with disabilities.
- Review legislation on the minimum age for criminal responsibility and for employment. 
- Seek the international assistance of the International Labour Organization to combat child labour.
  
Response of the concerned country

- Laws do not address the full range of issues relating to child prostitution.
- Progress needs to be made in assisting persons with disabilities.
- The Constitution does not guarantee access to health care. Yet the new draft Constitution guarantees that everyone has equal access to health care.
- The Government will work to ratify additional international human rights instruments.
- To work towards the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution.
- The Government intends to ensure the equal participation of women in all spheres.
- Access to justice is a priority.
- The Penal Code contains an offence of cruelty to children. That section, however, does not affect the rights of a parent, teacher or other person having control of the child to administer reasonable punishment.
- The offences against consenting adults engaged in same-sex relationships are being reviewed.
- The Government is reviewing the Penal Code which provides that the minimum age for criminal responsibility is eight years old.

Adoption of the report by the UPR working group scheduled on
Friday 6 May, 5:30 p.m.

More information

 

ADOPTION OF THE REPORT ON DENMARK

The Universal Periodic Review Working Group today also adopted, ad referendum, the report on Denmark (A/HRC/WG.6/11/L.2), following the review of that country on Monday, 2 May.

The draft report includes 133 recommendations put forward by Denmark by various delegations of the Working Group. These recommendations will be examined by Denmark which will provide responses no later than at the eighteenth session of the Human Rights Council.

The UPR report on Belgium will be made available here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/PAGES/DKSession11.aspx* *** *

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