"As societies build walls of separation between communities,
ICAAD works to remove each brick to illuminate our common humanity"

Erin Thomas

 

Erin is a researcher at the University of Auckland with a passion for reducing structural discrimination in the Pacific Islands. With a focus on women’s rights and gender-based violence, she previously worked at the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Research Project in Washington, D.C. In July 2017, Erin started as an intern with ICAAD where she assisted with the TrackGBV project and led a report on gender-based violence in Niue.

Erin studied International Studies with a focus on the Pacific Islands at American University in Washington, D.C. and is pursuing as master’s degree in Development Studies at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. On the side, she is also a personal trainer with a passion for olympic-style weightlifting.

#RaiseYourShield

On May 17, 2019, ICAAD Advisor Erin Thomas’ publication: Compacts of Free Association in FSM, RMI, and Palau: Implications for the 2023-2024 Renewal Negotiations (hrbrief.org/2019/03/compacts-of-free-association-in-fsm-rmi-and-palau-implications-for-the-2023-2...) was cited by the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jr., in an op-ed published in The Hill (thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/444291-pacific-defense-pact-renewal-vital-to-the-u...). In her piece, Erin points to critical issues stakeholders have raised regarding human trafficking, adoption policies, and COFA migrant rights among other important human rights issues.

Some of the above-mentioned policy gaps span several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly 10 (reduced inequalities) and 17 (partnership for the goals). Holistically, the existing COFA agreements represent the type of inequity that SDG 10 seeks to address. SDG 17 promotes inclusive and participatory decision-making at the international, national, and local levels. Developing transparency on both sides will allow for a more equitable process and outcome for the renewal negotiations.

The issues within the existing agreements also involve SDG 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions) and limited access to justice regarding redress for nuclear testing and environmental destruction. This impacts targets and indicators including SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 3 (good health and well-being). Finally, SDG 10 and 8’s targets for responsible migration policies are important considering the limited provisions for COFA migrants in the U.S. and U.S. territories.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook