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United States Intervention at the 11th Session of the UPR Working Group: Solomon Islands
May 5, 2011

The United States warmly welcomes Foreign Minister Agovaka and the entire and the Solomon Islands delegation to the UPR Working Group. We are well aware of the significant challenges the UPR process poses for small island states, and we congratulate Solomon Islands on the completion of its national report and its comprehensive presentation today.

The United States commends Solomon Islands on holding generally free and fair 2010 national parliamentary elections. We commend The Solomon Islands’ efforts, with the assistance of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, to address police corruption and impunity issues and substantially reduce the backlog of cases before the courts.

We remain concerned about several human rights issues, including lengthy pretrial detention, government corruption, and violence and discrimination against women. While the Ombudsman’s Office has potentially far-ranging powers and operates without governmental or political party interference, it is limited by a shortage of resources. Despite constitutional and legal protections, women remain the victims of discrimination in the male-dominated society. Male dominance in government limits the role of women, and violence against women, including rape and domestic abuse, remains a serious problem. Local children and foreign women are often subjected to forced prostitution, especially near logging camps and commercial fishing vessels, and local children are victims of domestic servitude. We encourage the Solomon Islands to investigate and prosecute instances of human trafficking.

Bearing in mind these concerns, the United States would like to make the following recommendations:

  • That Solomon Islands pass legislation to make spousal rape a crime and to ensure that laws are in place to specifically address domestic violence,
  • That the Solomon Islands make sexual harassment illegal.
  • That the Solomon Islands pass a law to criminalize all forms of human trafficking and ratify the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, a protocol to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
  • That Solomon Islands increase enforcement of its occupational and safety laws.
  • That Solomon Islands provide greater resources to its court system to reduce the time between the charging of an individual and the subsequent court hearing.
  • That Solomon Islands enhance protection of children from abuse, including prostitution and child pornography.
  • That the Solomon Islands develop and implement a plan to provide accommodation and assistance to those with disabilities.