Sexual Exploitation & Marital Rape:
The Special Rapporteur cited “alarming” reports of young girls being abused by employees of fishing and logging companies in remote areas of the country and instances in which young girls face sexual and commercial exploitation or are sometimes given away by their families in exchange for compensation such as money or material goods. Pointing to the “limited avenues of justice” available to women, Ms. Manjoo noted the lack of any specific legislation on the issue of violence against women as the country’s penal code does not criminalize some forms of domestic violence such as marital rape. See Video for Blog from Solomon Islands & Women in Church - http://diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/movie/womens-equality-in-church/28645
Truth & Reconciliation Commission & Ethnic Tensions:
Lack of infrastructure, human and financial resources, insufficient qualified judges, magistrates and lawyers severely limit women’s access to the formal justice system in the thousand island country. Ms. Manjoo premised that the five years of ethnic tensions, which afflicted the Solomon Islands from 1998 to 2003, also have left a legacy of violence against women, including rape, torture, loss of property and displacement as well as an exacerbation of the domestic violence which they were already experiencing in the home prior to the conflict. “The transition from a process of peacebuilding to one of state-building should not deny women victims of their right to both accountability and other redress measures for these past crimes,” Ms. Manjoo stressed.
She further noted that the UN-backed Truth and Reconciliation Commission which examined the violence committed in the Solomon Islands during the tensions will soon submit its findings to the Government, including a specific chapter on women. “I encourage the Government to thoroughly and publicly discuss the Commission’s findings and recommendations especially with women’s groups and organizations,” asked ms. Manjoo.
By Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey – Follow @MuhamedSacirbey
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