New Zealand has become increasingly multicultural and continues to accept a large number of migrants every year. This adds a duty on its legal system to ensure that its current laws can protect minority groups and adequately deal with culturally specific issues that arise due to different cultural norms. Many argue that the current legal system fails to provide adequate protection for girls and women from an Asian, African and Middle Eastern (AAM) origin; this is due to a lack of multicultural consideration and the addressing of specific issues linked to these ethnic groups. One such issue is the problem of forced marriages among AAM communities
living in New Zealand. This article argues that New Zealand’s laws and processes do not
adequately protect women of an AAM background due to a lack of specific laws and policies that can protect against culturally specific abuse. This argument is reached through the consideration of approaches and procedures through socio-legal methodology. This includes the review of governmental documents, semi-structured interviews with relevant organisations and experienced individuals in the field, case studies and independent research. I will conclude that there is a lack of cultural understanding within support organizations and public institutions regarding the forced marriage issues. Moreover AAM women are also not completely aware of their rights and the available support. Finally, I will provide some recommendations based on knowledge I have gained while conducting my research.
In 2013, the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights was awarded a grant by the Australian Government’s Department of Health to develop a guide for all media professionals reporting on Female Genital Cutting (FGC).
This is a resource guide for professionals working in all aspects of the media on the issue of FGC. It aims to equip media professionals with an understanding of the practice of FGC, and provide recommendations on ethical reporting from the perspective of affected communities and experts working on FGC.
The report sets out information, findings and recommendations from data on all family violence homicides in the four years from 2009 to 2012, and from in-depth regional reviews of 17 family violence death events.
It goes beyond previous reports. For the first time, the pattern of violence has been included in the analysis of all family violence deaths, which better addresses the context in which these distressing events occur.This broader brush provides insights into the responses required to prevent future deaths.
The report suggests the family violence workforce needs to think differently if it is to respond effectively and safely to people living with family violence. It recommends improved family violence training, a stronger response to risk factors, and changes in legislation to better support those victimised by family violence.
Normalising or minimising family violence fails people who are at risk of being killed. The report advocates campaigning to encourage safe and effective interventions by friends, family, neighbours and workmates.
The Human Rights Commission is the lead agency for the coordination and development of the National Plan of Action for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (NPA). The preparation of the National Plan of Action is mandated by the Human Rights Act 1993.
The Act requires the Human Rights Commission to develop the NPA on behalf of New Zealand it is New Zealand’s plan, not the Commission’s plan. Therefore, a cross-agency and collaborative approach with the state sector, local government, Iwi, and civil society is essential.
The Plan will set out the concrete actions to be taken by the Government to improve human rights realisation and to action the commitments made to the United Nations as part of the Universal Periodic Review1. These commitments were included in the response to the United Nations and were Cabinet mandated.
On best estimates, the number of girls in Australia being forced into marriage here or overseas is in the hundreds every year. Girls as young as 12 or 13 are disappearing from schoolyards, packed off to the countries of their parents’ birth to wed men they have never met, while others are taken from their homes in southern Asia and the Middle East and brought into Australia to marry.
Violence against Women (VAW) is a pervasive, global human rights violation. This research memo discusses the current state of VAW in Australia, and the Australian Governments proposed National Action Plan (NAP) addressing VAW across Australia’s diverse community. Noting that women’s rights are not fully protected by the Commonwealth and revealing the current appalling statistics around domestic and sexual violence against Australian women, the memo then provides insight on Indigenous women and VAW, followed by a deeper look at NAP. Finally, after a brief look at the recent study tour of Australia by the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Australia’s commitment to addressing VAW is discussed with reference to reporting for CEDAW and UPR. The memo then considers the Special Rapporteur’s study tour in light of the election of a new federal government. It then concludes that if the state shows genuine commitment to its people, and to its obligations under human rights treaties, the onus ultimately rests on it to work with civil society to make use of the human rights mechanisms and seek to honestly and with purpose examine their human rights status and develop and adopt sustainable positive change.
As in many places, gender inequality is prevalent in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati. the WHO commission on Social Determinants of Health underlined in 2008 that gender inequality impacts health through “discriminatory feeding patterns, violence against women, lack of decision-making power, and unfair divisions of work, leisure, and possibilities of improving one’s life,” in addition to limiting access to health care services. A significant consequence of gender inequality is the high level of gender-based violence, including sexual, emotional and physical, perpetrated by intimate partners and non-partners. three years after the final report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, WHO convened the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in october 2011 to review progress on implementing the recommendations of the commission, draw lessons from experiences and catalyse coordinated global action. this paper was developed in the run-up to the world conference as examples of policy action aimed at tackling key determinants of health and reducing health inequities. covering the period between 2008 and 2011, the paper demonstrates that efforts to measure the extent of a problem can raise political awareness and thereby effectively trigger policy responses on key determinants of gender-based violence and, more broadly, health.
Prior to 2008, health policy-makers were unaware of the prevalence of gender-based violence in Kiribati, as no nationally representative study on the problem had ever been conducted. with support from the Australian government, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Secretariat of the Pacific community (SPC), and drawing on the methodology of the WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence, the kiribati ministry of Internal and social Affairs (MISA) conducted its first family health and support study in 2008. A committee of stakeholders was assembled to guide the research, support its planning and implementation, and provide a longitudinal sense of buy-in and ownership.
Most of the issues affecting children, youth and women can be effectively addressed through the Government’s commitment to the obligations of international conventions such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Government should provide resources to the Kiribati National Advisory Committee on Children (KNACC) and also put in place effective advocacy structures to ensure children and women’s issues are known and mainstreamed into the national development agenda.
Find this report under "Papua New Guinea (March 2012);" Report Symbol Number: A/HRC/23/49/Add.2
The present report contains the findings of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, following her visit to Papua New Guinea. The Special Rapporteur examines the situation of violence against women in the country, including violence that is perpetrated within the family and the community; violence occurring in institutional settings; and violence related to the development of the country's extractive industries. She discusses the State's legislative and institutional responses to such violence, and provides recommendations.
Find this report under "Solomon Islands (March 2012);" Report Symbol Number: A/HRC/23/49/Add.1
In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, examines the situation of violence against women in Solomon Islands. including violence perpetrated within the family and the community, violence perpetrated between 1998 and 2003 (during “the tensions”) and violence relating to the development of extractive industries. She also examines the State’s legislative and institutional responses to such violence, and makes recommendations thereon.
The prevalence of sexual assault and its consequent harm to both individual victims and society as a whole has now been widely researched, documented and recognised in Western jurisdictions for generations. In particular, policing of this gendered crime has been the subject of many research endeavours and police organisations have increasingly opened their doors to academics and other researchers in pursuit of evidence-based knowledge that will assist them to enhance their training, investigations and Brief preparations in this respect. Victoria Police has been among the foresighted police organisations in this regard over the past several years.
This paper provides background information on the international legal and policy framework on violence against women, plural legal systems and women’s movements for the participants attending the Asia Pacific Roundtable: International and Regional Standard setting to eliminate Violence Against Women 2013, set to be held on 7 and 8 Dec, in Bali, Indonesia.
In April 2012, the current UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, including its causes and consequences, Ms Rashida Manjoo, accepted an invitation to conduct a study tour to Australia. This was the first visit to Australia ever undertaken by the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women.
The Pacific with its huge geographic coverage and small populations is often overlooked in global and regional research and publications. Documented information about what is happening in the Pacific can be hard to find for both Pacific Islanders and people new to the region. International organisations that document human rights issues in much of the world often do not include the Pacific Islands. This is not to say that information on human rights in the Pacific does not exist. It does and there are many sources for it. However, until now, it has not been brought together in one place to provide an overview of human rights issues in the region. We hope that this publication, Human Rights in the Pacific – Country Outlines, provides such an overview and guides readers to sources and people that can provide further information.
This article explores whether ratifying international human rights treaties is a useful strategy to advance the cause of human rights in the Pacific. Much of the recent discussion has promoted the advantages of ratification.
The aim of this article is to contribute to the ratification debate by considering the potential responses Pacific states might make to the call for ratification. It assumes that the desired ultimate goal is greater protection of human rights in the Pacific, but suggests that in light of the challenges of ratification, there may be more effective means of advancing human rights in the Pacific than wholesale ratification of outstanding treaties.
While in the long-term ratification remains a worthy goal, in the short-term it may not be the best way forward. Instead, it may be more appropriate to focus on alternative means of advancing human rights. This may be through a combination of stronger domestic means to protect and promote human rights, the development of a Pacific regional mechanism to promote rights, and active engagement with the United Nations’ Human Rights Council’s new Universal Periodic Review (‘UPR’) mechanism. Selective ratification of individual treaties may still be worthwhile, but on a gradual basis, and certainly not wholesale.
This summary of current literature on violence against women and girls in Pacific Island Countries is designed to give practitioners a concise and comprehensive overview of current knowledge and analysis. The evidence presented in this second edition presents a compelling case for more action and investment in preventing and responding to violence against women. It is intended to inform leaders, legislators, policy and decision-makers in government, and programme designers in government and civil society. It is also intended to be a ‘living’ source of knowledge, and will be regularly updated to ensure its validity. Comments, feedback and additions are welcome to this important bank of knowledge on VAW in our region.
This report of the Kiribati Family Health and Support Study analyses data from the first ever nationally representative research on violence against women and related child abuse in this country. This study replicates the WHO multi-country study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women. The study was designed to
estimate the prevalence of physical, sexual and emotional violence against women, with particular emphasis on violence by intimate partners
assess the association of partner violence with a range of health outcomes
identify factors that may either protect or put women at risk of partner violence
document the strategies and services that women use to cope with violence by an intimate partner;
assess the association of partner violence with abuse against children
Methodology of the study
The study consisted of a qualitative component and a quantitative component. The quantitative component consisted of population-based household survey that was conducted around the country. The sample for the household survey was designed to be nationally representative and aimed to include 1500 women aged 15–49 years. A stratified multi-stage sample design was used, with 20% oversampling to account for non-response. There were five strata: three for the Gilbert Islands, one for the Line and Phoenix Islands, and one for South Tarawa. Within the first four strata islands were randomly selected, and in South Tarawa enumeration areas were systematically selected. Within the islands or enumeration areas, households were systematically selected using probability proportional to size (based on census information). The total sample size was 2000 households to be visited. In each selected household only one woman was randomly selected to be interviewed for the survey among all eligible women 15–49 years of age.
Widespread criminalization of sex work has had the effect of undermining the sexual health of sex workers, for instance by preventing them from accessing health care services for fear of criminal prosecution if found to be a sex worker. Moreover, laws permitting mandatory HIV or STI testing of sex workers and mandating disclosure of private health information to employers sanction direct interference in the private lives of sex workers.