- Sports News : Wallabies World cup squad named [22/08/2019 - Fiji]
- Sports News : ONOC praise Tokyo 2020 as Chef de Mission Seminar concludes [22/08/2019 - Japan]
- Sports News : Heat mitigation top of the agenda at Tokyo 2020 seminar [22/08/2019 - Japan]
- Business News : Additional $3 million in funding to flow from the Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust [22/08/2019 - Nauru]
- Business News : Fiji National Provident Fund buys 20 percent EFL shares worth $220m [22/08/2019 - Fiji]
- Business News : China Pacific Tourism Year Initiative gains momentum [22/08/2019 - Fiji]
- News : Pacific Forum chief 'positive' on Tuvalu summit outcome [22/08/2019 - Fiji]
- News : Pacific countries push for their rights as stewards of the ocean to reflected in new global BBNJ treaty [22/08/2019 - United States]
- News : FSM calls for respect for sovereignty in BBNJ treaty [22/08/2019 - United States]
- News : Women must come to the fore of peace and security: Samoa PM [22/08/2019 - Samoa]
- News Feature : We need to challenge climate change doubters before itís too late [22/08/2019 - United Kingdom]
- Business News : Fiji Airways defends its Tuvalu fares [22/08/2019 - Fiji]
- Sponsored : Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC)
Fiji’s leaders are still doing too little to tackle the country’s severe human rights failings, Amnesty International said, as the country’s civil society groups finalise their human rights ‘scorecards’ to submit to the UN.
The country recently acceded to the vice-presidency of the UN Human Rights Council, a step that underscores the need for human rights progress.
“Fiji is talking the talk on the world stage,” said Roshika Deo, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher.
“But the spotlight on Fiji’s new UN role must be a chance for Fiji to increase its credibility on human rights, and redress a range of critical failings.”
“Months since its re-election and despite its human rights rhetoric, the Fijian government has done nothing substantive to address the well-documented problem of torture by the security forces,” said Deo.
“Despite saying it would take action, it has also failed to take urgent steps to prevent women and girls from suffering widespread harassment, violence and discrimination. And they have done nothing to protect the country’s media and civic space.”
Ahead of the elections, in November 2018, Amnesty put forward a six-point human rights agenda that highlighted priority areas for government action.
This agenda includes the protection of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, preventing torture and other ill treatment, ending violence against women and girls, protecting human rights defenders, ensuring equality for LGBTI people, and guaranteeing meaningful inclusion of Indigenous peoples in community decisions.
Fiji’s human rights record will come under scrutiny at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council in October-November 2019.
Ahead of the Human Rights Council’s assessment, civil society groups have until 28 March to submit their contributions to the UPR process, and the State has until July to submit its report."
“The UPR is an important process for human rights groups in Fiji – on this evidence, it should act as a major wake-up call to the government. They are now the vice-presidents of the world’s top human rights body, and that leadership starts with their actions at home,” said Deo.
“Only this week, the permit to stage a protest that was denied to the Fiji Trade Unions Congress shows Fijians’ rights to express themselves and to gather peacefully are still restricted,” said Deo.
“As a first step the government should immediately act on the recommendations outlined in our Human Rights Agenda, including repealing repressive laws. They must also establish an independent and effective mechanism to investigate and address the systematic use of violence by the security forces,” she said.
SOURCE: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media