United Nations Human Rights Council
Universal Periodic Review: Solomon Islands
Drawing on ICAAD’s research, this submission highlights issues of structural discrimination that impact women and minorities in the Solomon Islands. The research examines the Solomon Island’s compliance with its international human rights obligations on the issues of: violence against women and girls (VAWG), gender equality and discrimination against persons with disabilities.
- Violence Against Women
- Systematic Discrimination:
(1) Violence against women and girls is endemic in the Solomon Islands. Domestic violence is largely underreported. Women fail to report due to fear of reprisals, feelings of shame, and cultural taboos. A 2012 report by the Special Rapporteur on VAWG indicated that approximately 64% of women who had been in a relationship experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner. 37% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 reported being the victims of sexual abuse under the age of 15. Spousal rape is not criminalized.
(2) In terms of the broader social context, women continue to live with the effects of a period of internal unrest between 1998 and 2003 known as “the tensions.” Rape was frequently used by militants and policemen to extract information from women and girls about the whereabouts of family or community members. It is reported that up to 75 percent of women suffered personal trauma, including rape.
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