2 Aug 2012

UN highlights violence against women in Pacific

5:28 pm on 2 August 2012

The United Nations has called for violence against women in the Pacific to be addressed.

In its annual report, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says many Pacific countries should strengthen laws to crack down on violence and discrimination against women.

It says in Solomon Islands, two-thirds of women aged between 15 and 45 have experienced violence in their relationship according to a government-sponsored study from 2009.

Other Pacific countries, such as Tuvalu and Samoa, also have high violence rates, with almost half of women being victimised.

Tonga and Palau are two of only six countries globally not to have ratified the UN convention on the elimination of discrimination against women.

The other four are the US, Iran, Sudan and Somalia.

The report acknowledges that some Pacific countries have domestic violence units within their local police departments, as well as women's counselling services.