A TRAINING EVENT, themed ‘Pacific People Advancing Change’, facilitated by the Regional Rights Resource Team from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has put strong emphasis on the inclusion of the rights of humans during lobby’s for changes, as well as the development of new contents for national legislation’s.

The participants, which included several NGOs, including Transparency International Vanuatu, and several government departments, successfully completed the three days of practical learning with an earned set of clear organizational objectives. The participants had the opportunity to discuss the origins of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, as well as understanding how this universal terms and values has always been practiced by pacific islanders for thousands of years.

Logically, the Universal Rights of Humans is not a new concept for pacific islanders. Only the term ‘Human Rights’ is. For thousands of years pacific islanders have practiced and maintained effectively the rights of individuals within the traditional context, or by what is widely called the traditional or ‘natural law’ – respect, love etc…

The term Human Rights was universally adopted in 1948, along with it specific rights were listed in 30 articles. Once a state becomes a member of the United Nations they are obliged to recognize these rights as well as implement and protect them. Each state must respect, protect and fulfill the practicality of each universal human rights within its own national boundary.

Unfortunately, the universal recognition of Human Rights was not an easy task, nor was it cheap. It took thousands of years and the loss millions of lives before something universal could be developed and a compromise finally reached by state parties;

a universal value that will bring back the dignity to humanity.

From 1948 onward several international treaties were developed to protect the cultural, political, economic and social rights. Eventually, the nine (9) conventions for the Rights of Humans were developed, and states were obliged to ratify and domesticate them within their own national laws. Vanuatu has ratified six (6) of these conventions.

Therefore, Vanuatu is obliged to domesticate these six (6) conventions locally. Though there has been progress on some of these conventions several of these ratified conventions have yet to rest within the laws of Vanuatu, and this is a commitment that various government departments and NGOs are working and lobbying the government to implement.

The participating organizations at this workshop were encouraged to support the implementations of the different aspects of Human Rights within their own respective offices and to promote these values through to policy makers.

The training was held for 3 days from the 7th to the 9th September at the Moorings Conference Room.

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