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May 26, 2022
News Pacific

Tuvalu Launches National Action Plan on Human Rights

by Kiwiana Ngabung – EMTV Online, Port Moresby

It’s as simple as a child eating a healthy meal each day, or a youth having a belief in a particular religion, or even a woman moving or travelling to where she wishes to; these are just some of our basic human rights.

In committing to ensure that basic rights like these are exercised, the Tuvalu government officially launched a national action plan on human rights yesterday. It is the first Pacific country, and one of the few in the world to launch a national action plan (NAP) on human rights.

The NAP on human rights shows the commitment the government of Tuvalu is doing to protect and maintain the rights of its people.

Officially launching the NAP, Tuvalu Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga, was pleased to present it to government officials and citizens and made it known that his government was mindful of the challenges that come with implementing various commitments such as this.

“Our development priorities will assist the marginalised, the old and the young, our men, women and children, our people with disabilities and all those who call Tuvalu home. It is in realising our most basic and fundamental rights that we realise our basic dignity and worth as human beings,” PM Sopoaga said.

The NAP is an outcome of consultations and extensive discussions by the Pacific Community (SPC) Regional Rights Resources Team (RRRT), government officials, members of the judiciary, community representatives, and other non-government organisations, and supported by the European Union and the Australian Government. It strengthens its existing pledges under human rights treaties to which it is a state party – the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Acting Director for SPC’s Human Rights program, Nicol Cave, said “This NAP is certainly a remarkable achievement and one deserving of recognition.

“Today as governments struggle to meet their human rights commitments, it is initiatives such as a NAP that assist government to better prioritise the implementation of their universal commitment to human rights and to realise the human rights of their people.”

In implementing the plan, the Tuvalu government will look to donors, development partners and others for assistance in ensuring that the goals and objectives of this plan are recognised.

Last year, the island nation also conducted a scoping mission of establishing a national human rights institution, making them the first smaller island state to do so.

These measures signify Tuvalu’s seriousness towards human rights issues, and is a model for other Pacific countries and island states to follow.

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