Vanuatu Human Rights

Rural to urban migration led to a growth in informal settlements in Port Vila. Many of the settlements were overcrowded and had inadequate access to clean water, sanitation and housing. Violence against women continued to increase, with perpetrators seldom brought to justice.

Right to Adequate Housing

Increased rural to urban migration and a lack of employment opportunities forced many people to live in informal settlements in Port Vila. Many of the settlements were overcrowded, had little or no access to clean water, no sanitation and poor housing conditions. More than 500 people who lived in Seaside Togoa, a settlement in the middle of Port Vila, shared four toilets and two showers. A number of other settlements in Port Vila, including Black Sands, Fresh Wota and Olen were badly overcrowded and had poor public security, with many children not attending school. Many people from settlements had to scavenge in a rubbish dump outside Port Vila for food, water and building materials.

Violence Against Women

Violence against women continued to increase. Perpetrators were seldom brought to justice due to a lack of police training on domestic violence and on the provisions of the new Family Protection Act (FPA). The FPA, enacted by Parliament in June 2008, was the first legislation on gender-based violence in the Pacific Islands. During a Universal Periodic Review in May, the government committed itself to fully implementing the provisions of the FPA.

The government pledged to review its commitments under the UN Women’s Convention (CEDAW).