SOLOMON ISLANDS: SI highest amongst highest in violence against women

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Solomon Star
Solomon Is.
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against women Ms Rashida Manjoo has reported Solomon Islands have the high incidence of violence against women.

Ms Manjoo learnt the prevalence during her mission to Solomon Islands last week.
She was invited by the Solomon Islands Government which she holds meetings with government authorities and representatives from civil societies to support services for women victims of violence.

Ms Manjoo said according to official figures, 64 percent of women aged 15-49 have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.

The UN expert said she obtained information indicating that violence against women starts at a young age.

“The number of incest cases filed before the judiciary has been increasing in recent years.

“Young girls are also reportedly subjected to violence in the community, particularly sexual abuse, defilement and gang rape.”

Ms Manjoo said she also received alarming reports of young girls being abused by employees of fishing and logging companies in remote areas of the country.

“In this context, young girls face sexual and commercial exploitation,” she said.

Ms Manjoo said she was also aware that the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which examined the violations committed during the tensions will be submitted to cabinet soon.

“I encouraged the government to thoroughly discuss the TRC's findings and recommendations especially with women's groups and organizations.

“The transition from a process of peace building to one of state building should not deny women victims their right to accountability and other redress measures for the past crimes,” she said.

She said based on her findings will be discussed in a comprehensive way in the report and will present a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2013.

This is first visit of the independent expert on violence against women to Solomon Islands.