Seven Pacific countries are to receive funding under Australia's 2008-09 Human Rights Small Grants Scheme.
The Pacific projects include strengthening the rights of people displaced by the April 2007 tsunami in Solomon Islands, peace-building and conflict resolution in Papua New Guinea, awareness-raising of the rights of disabled people in Vanuatu, and a regional human rights awareness program to provide training and capacity building in Samoa, the Solomons, Tonga, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Fiji.
Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Duncan Kerr, says Australia wants to continue to help Pacific Islanders living in poverty gain access to basic human rights such as health and education.
"We are very pleased to throw our support behind iniatives for example that support efforts to broaden understanding of, and responses to, issues like violence against women. We're very concerned about making sure the conversation we have with our governments is respectful but also that we don't shy away from some of the more difficult issues."