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U.S. Statement at the UPR of Vanuatu
January 30, 2014

UPR of Vanuatu

18th Session of the Universal Periodic Review

Delivered by Aleksandra Needham
January 30, 2014

Thank you Mr. Vice President.

The United States welcomes Vanuatu to the UPR working group.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Vanuatu to promote and protect human rights and strengthen democratic institutions, and to end impunity for police violence.  We recognize the serious and sustained efforts of the Vanuatu government to counter violence and discrimination against women and girls, particularly in rural areas, and encourage further commitment in this effort.

We commend the progress that has been made with Vanuatu’s passage of the Family Protection Act, particularly law enforcement’s “no drop” policy in regard to reported cases of domestic violence.  Nevertheless, discrimination, human rights abuses, reports of child sexual exploitation, and violence against women remain issues of concern.

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

  1. Implement reforms to ensure Vanuatu is able to meet its obligations under the United Nations Convention Against Torture regarding prosecution for acts of torture, attempt to commit torture, or complicity or participation in torture;
  2. Improve the protection of the rights of women and girls, including by effectively addressing gender-based violence, particularly domestic violence, and by advancing programs and training to counter discrimination with regard to women’s employment and financial access.

Thank you Mr. Vice President.