Human Rights consultation workshop begins on 29th September to collect data to be submitted to UN on February 2024

Coordinator of the National Human Rights Initiative, Albert Nalpini.
By Sabrina Tabi

Vanuatu’s National Human Rights Committee will hold a consultation workshop on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report in Santo and Port Vila to gather data on the implementation of United Nations (UN) conventions ratified by Vanuatu.

The Coordinator of the National Human Rights Initiative, Albert Nalpini, confirmed that the consultation will be held in Santo from September 25 to 29, and the second consultation will be held the following week in Port Vila on the 10th to 13th of October 2023.

“There will be two separate consultations because implementers of the ratified conventions are spread out through different sectors across the country, and most of the works done on the northern part of the country are based on Santo, whilst the works done on the southern part of the country are based in Port Vila,” explained Nalpini.

He relayed that workshop will be attended by the Provincial Technical Advisory Committee, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, youth, women, churches and chiefs.

According to the Coordinator, the six UN conventions that the Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MoJCS) is mandated to work on are: United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

He stated that data and information collected from the workshop will be compiled and submitted as a report to UN on February 2024, to show the country’s progress towards the implementation of these conventions.

A statement issued by the MoJCS earlier this week, clarified that the UPR is an important innovation of the Human Rights Council, based on equal treatment of all countries.

“It provides an opportunity for all states to declare what measures they have taken to improve the human rights situation in their countries and overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights,” the MoJCS stated.

Mr. Nalpini added that Vanuatu as a member state of the UN, has the obligation as a nation to provide information that reflects what the country is capable of providing internationally, and to display its commitments as a nation towards these conventions that “we ourselves have ratified”.

He urged stakeholders to provide the data and information required, as these reports will be verified by the UN in Geneva to confirm Vanuatu’s stance in regards to the conventions the country has ratified, as previously mentioned.