20 Jul 2012

UN Special Rapporteur says lack of menstrual hygiene in Tuvalu hampering girls

7:11 pm on 20 July 2012

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation says a lack of menstrual hygiene management in Tuvalu is hampering some girls from attending school.

Catarina de Albuquerque visited Tuvalu this week and concluded that people not only lack water but adequate sanitation including access to toilets and bathing facilities.

She says she discovered that a small bag of sanitary pads is sold for about US$3.60, which is expensive.

"In certain cases if the family does not have the money to buy the sanitary pads then the girls cannot go to school during the time they are menstruating. And obviously this is unacceptable since also education is a universal human right."

Catarina de Albuquerque says she has raised the issue with the Tuvalu government and will also report it to the UN.