7 Aug 2009

Pacific leaders must confront violence against women says Amnesty International

6:37 am on 7 August 2009

Pacific Islands leaders have been told they must confront the high levels of violence against women in the region.

Amnesty International's Pacific researcher, Apolosi Bose, speaking in Cairns where the Pacific Islands Forum summit was held, says the region will not achieve its development goals if it doesn't tackle what he calls one of the gravest human rights issues.

He says recent surveys have shown that in countries such as Solomon Islands and Kiribati 75 percent of women face domestic violence.

Mr Bose says often legislation is non existent or inadequate or the police are incapable of enforcing the law and leaders need to act.

"Violence against women is endemic. It is something that is really happening right under their noses and they need to do something about it. There has been a lot of lipservice in the past, but we really want to see action, legislation in place, plans for reforming laws in place and more resources, if you like, for training police etc."