28 Sep 2009

Vanuatu improving prison conditions, UN told

12:28 pm on 28 September 2009

The UN Human Rights Council has been told that Vanuatu is taking positive steps to improve conditions in prisons and detention centres.

The Rights Council has adopted the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review on Vanuatu, the committee for which presented its findings to the Council in New York over recent days.

Speakers in the discussion on Vanuatu included representatives from Australia, New Zealand and Amnesty International.

Vanuatu's commitment to improving conditions in prisons was commended and the undertaking to separate minors and adults in correctional facilities was welcomed.

The country has seen frequent prisoner escapes at its main jail over the past two years, with conditions in detention an ongoing issue.

Meanwhile, accountability and transparency in Vanuatu's public sector remain of concern.

Vanuatu has also been encouraged by the Council to provide more resources to the Office of the Ombudsman and the Auditor General to allow for more vigorous investigations.