The Office of the Public
 Prosecution (0PP) under the Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MoJCS) officially launched the Vanuatu Survivor-Victims (SV) Charter on Tuesday, 28th of November 2023.

This SV Charter was developed in collaboration with European Union (EU) and United Nations, (UN) through the Spotlight initiative.

It is a guide document developed to promote justice for survivors and victims of crime in Vanuatu, complying with the Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power- UNGA Resolution 40/ 34 of 1985.

The SV Charter sets out the rights of Survivors and Victims, the services they may access within the criminal justice system, or from other service providers in the country.

These rights include the Right to be treated with fairness, courtesy, compassion, respect, and dignity; Right to have their needs considered and supported by service providers; Right to offer information; Right to receive information; Right to consent; Right to protection and privacy; Right to apply for compensation and restitution; and the Right to file complaints if service providers fails to uphold the rights outlined.

Mr. Josiah Naigulevu, the Public Prosecutor (PP), said this charter is not only a guide document, but the OPP is committed to ensure that it will be endorsed by the Council of Ministers (COM) as a National Policy which will serve to inform future planning design, and a focal point for a law reform.

According to the PP, this SV Charter symbolises the country’s criminal justice system’s collective involvement to stand with survivors and victims, to empower them, and to hold perpetrators accountable.

“In a society where the prevalence of violence against women and girls remains alarmingly high, the SV charter provides a beacon of hope to our commitment to change the narrative, to stand against injustice, and to ensure that every survivor- victim is treated with compassion, support, and given the dignity they deserve,” he said.