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Pacific NHRIs to collaborate on gender equality

Graphic: A woman addresses the national inquiry on family violence in Samoa

Representatives from NHRIs in the Pacific will meet to share effective strategies to press for change on the critical issues facing women and girls.

Senior representatives from national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the Pacific will meet in September to share their insights on effective strategies to press for change on the critical issues facing women and girls in their countries.

In Samoa, the Office of the Ombudsman will soon release the report of its landmark national inquiry into family violence, while the Australian Human Rights Commission has just commenced a national inquiry into sexual harassment.

Earlier this month, the New Zealand Human Rights Commission released a report that highlighted the glacial pace towards gender equality in workplaces across the country.

"These initiatives show how NHRIs can use their unique mandate to add to campaigns like the #metoo movement and lobby for changes that make a genuine difference in the lives of women and girls," said Pip Dargan, Deputy Director of the APF secretariat and APF Gender Focal Point.

"Our roundtable discussion will be an opportunity for NHRIs to share their experiences, identify good practices and also inspire each other to consider new strategies they can pursue to advance gender equality," she said.

"Just as importantly, there will be conversations about how NHRIs can build gender equality into their day-to-day work, including through their staffing and organisational policies."


Graphic: Woman take part in consultations for the national inquiry on family violence in Samoa


The two-day roundtable meeting – to be held in Apia, Samoa, on 4-5 September 2018 – will include participants from the NHRIs of Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Samoa and Tuvalu.

Representatives from the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru and the Marshall Islands have also been invited to attend, based on the interest expressed by their governments to establish independent NHRIs.

The workshop will explore some of the themes and commitments made by the global community of NHRIs, which resulted in the 2014 Amman Declaration and Programme of Action on the human rights of women and girls.

It will also focus on the importance of developing partnerships to advance gender equality.

"We hope the discussions will provide participants with practical ideas and new connections that they can draw on in their future work," Ms Dargan said.

An advisory group, made up of civil society experts and NHRI representatives in the Pacific, has been established to help develop the program for the two-day meeting.

The Office of the Ombudsman of Samoa will host the roundtable discussion, which has been organised by the APF as part of its commitment to support NHRs in their efforts to promote gender equality.

Date: 26 July 2018


Image credits

  1. A woman addresses the national inquiry on family violence in Samoa - Office of the Ombudsman of Samoa
  2. Woman take part in consultations for the national inquiry on family violence in Samoa - Office of the Ombudsman of Samoa