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

Oral Argument 9th Cir.: Indo-Fijian Woman Seeking Asylum

In Rashika v. Holder, Jaspreet Singh, ICAAD’s Director of Policy and Advocacy argued that Indo-Fijian women with no systems of support in Fiji should be eligible for asylum, as a particularly disfavored group with a well founded fear of future persecution. Ms. Rashika, a single Indo-Fijian woman with no family or remaining ties to Fiji had suffered past abuses, based both on her ethnicity and her gender, and had demonstrated a greater than 10% chance of future persecution. Existing human rights reports have documented a pattern and practice of abuse against both Indo-Fijians and women, where police and the judiciary, fail to stop abuses, especially of women. Those without familial or other support systems have no one to turn to.

According to the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, 13% of women in Fiji have been raped, and sexual violence increased 155% from 2003-2007. Violent deaths of women are also on the rise. Fiji’s four political coups resulted in a marked increase in ethnic tensions between Indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians. AusAid’s research showed that “violence against women increases during and after coups,” and the “police have diminished capacity and willingness to respond to violence against women.” This appellate case is one part of a larger strategy for ICAAD to assist in ending violence against women in the Southern Pacific.

#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