Nauru: Children's Rights References in the Universal Periodic Review

Nauru- Twenty Third Session - 2015


3 November 2015 - 14:30 - 18:00


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National Report 

Compilation of UN Information 

Stakeholder Information 

Accepted and Rejected Recomendation 


National Report 

A. National laws and legislation

6. Significant key achievements in the area of legislative reform by the Government of Nauru include the enactment of the: Cyber Crimes Act 2015, Adoption (Amendment) Act 2015, Naoero Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2015, Refugee Act 2012, Asylum Seekers (Regional Processing Centre) Act 2012, Education (Amended) Act 2015 and the Interpretation Act 2011.

B. National measures and policies and plans

2. Nauru National Youth Policy 2009–2015

8. A comprehensive and consolidated Nauru National Youth Policy (NYP), 2009–2015 was developed by the Nauru Youth Affairs (NYA) a division within the Ministry of Home Affairs. However, due to financial constraints at the time of completing the final draft, the Nauru Youth Policy paper was never formally adopted. Discussions are in progress to review its contents and to be submitted to cabinet for endorsement. The Nauru National Youth Policy 2009–2015 outlines four core strategies which provide guidelines for key programmes designed to address the emerging issues affecting young people of Nauru. The core strategies are:

- skills development through formal and informal education; employment and income generation;
- social development, supportive environment; and
- Cross cutting initiatives.

9. The Nauru National Youth Policy 2009- 2015 defines youth as all males and females

between the ages of fifteen and thirty four years. A proposal has been made to review the Nauru National Youth Policy particularly on the amendment of the age definition to complement the requirements of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Additionally, gender is a critical component of all aspects of the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation process of all National Youth Policy activities and programmes. It is also inclusive of youth living with disability.

3. Nauru National Women’s Policy 2014-2019

10. The Government of Nauru’s National Women’s Policy is aimed at assisting the gender performance indicators contained in the National Sustainable Development Strategy 2005-202. It also provides a national framework for the articulation of areas of concern identified in the National Plan of Action for Women, consistent with CEDAW. The National Women’s Policy calls for a multi-sectoral implementation response, and directs government, civil society and community representatives regarding Nauru’s gender priorities. The National Women’s Policy goals are:...

  • improved and equitable participation in all levels of education by girls and women;..

4. Nauru Women’s National Plan of Action 1998–2015 (reviewed in 2004)

11. Further to the above, there exists a Nauru Women’s Plan of Action which is aimed at improving the quality of women’s lives in Nauru. The National Plan of Action have identified 16 thematic issues that aims to improve the lives of women in Nauru, they are:

  • women and health;
  •  education and training for women;
  • violence against women;
  • religion;
  •  human rights of women;
  • women in decision making;
  • women and culture; 
  • women and the media; 
  • community/family; 
  • child (girl); 
  • good governance; 
  • women and the economy; 
  • women in agriculture and fisheries; 
  • women and the environment; 
  • youth; and 
  • women in sports. It is envisaged that the realisation of key thematic issues will improve the quality of life of women in Nauru. The National Plan of Action is monitored by the Women’s Affairs Department. 

5. Nauru Gender Country Plan

12. The Nauru Gender Country Plan is in place with the deployment of a full-time psychosocial counsellor at the Republic of Nauru Hospital (RONH) for men, women, boys and girls affected by domestic violence, alcohol and teen pregnancy. Following this a referral system between Republic of Nauru Hospital through doctors and treatment staff, schools through liaison officers, NPF via the Domestic Violence unit and safe house is in the end stages of establishment. The three activities in the first country plan will:

  • improve the health sector response and services to reduce domestic violence; 
  • increase access to justice and improved legislation and policy environment for reducing domestic violence; and 
  • increase leadership and decision making opportunities for women. 

6. Department of Education Annual Operation Plan

13. The Education reform agenda was introduced in 2010. Critical issues identified in the revised reform agenda of 2014 includes:

• increasing student rates;

• improving teacher attendance and punctuality;

• improving enrolment, completion and transition rates of students;

• improving learning outcomes of all students;

• increasing level of literacy and numeracy in each sector;

• building and sustaining a skilled workforce;

•providing and maintaining safe, health; and

• welcoming learning facilities and sustaining implementation of recently developed modern and relevant curriculum.

14. The Annual Operation Plans identifies four key pillars aimed at improving the
overall work of the Department of Education namely to:

  • Improve quality and access to early years, primary and secondary education;
  • Create a proactive and continually improving education system;
  •  Improve learning outcomes for all students;
  • Maintain a sustainable and high quality workforce to meet future education needs.

15. As required by the Education Act 2011, a Truancy Policy has been developed to support the Education Annual Operation Plan (EAOP). This is coordinated by the Education Liaison Office (ELO) and resourced by a Chief Liaison and a School Liaison for each of the national schools namely – four infant schools, two primary schools, one secondary school, Kayser College and the Able Disabled Centre. Additionally, fifteen expatriate early childhood and primary teachers from the Papua New Guinea, Kiribati and Fiji are currently contracted by the government to fill in the teacher workforce gap as the local teachers are being trained to meet the Teacher Registration Requirements which is now in force.

III. Promotion and protection of human rights on the ground: implementation of international human rights obligations identified in the “basis of review”, national legislation and voluntary commitments, national human rights institutions, activities, public awareness of human rights, cooperation with human rights mechanisms

20. In May 2015, a Sexual Assault First Responders Course was convened, funded and conducted by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for members of the NPF and was aimed at enhancing the provision of responses to adult and child victims of sexual violence. The course included staff from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Safe House Counsellor, Child Protection staff and a Men’s Counsellor. It also established a victim focused response with the NPF responsible for the investigation and the Ministry Home Affairs responsible for victim support.

21. In May 2015, the Department of Justice and Border Control, the Department of Education, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) convened a national consultation on the Nauru National Disability Policy. The consultation saw national disability organisations, civil society organisations, government departments and donor partners discuss and hold dialogue on the Nauru National Disability Policy. The result of the discussions and dialogue saw the development and confirmation of the Nauru National Disability Policy.

22. In June 2015, the Government of Nauru through the Department for Education also convened and completed the first Legislative Compliance review on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This was done in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the UNESCAP and both the Department of Education and the Department of Justice and Border Control. The review involved stakeholders from both government and civil society organisations. Additionally, a general workshop on CRPD including responsibilities, ownership and obligations was facilitated to compliment the work on the legislative review.

IV. Action taken regarding recommendations arising from the first UPR round

Recommendation 79.1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/17/18/19/20/21/2/2/23/24/25/26/27

Border Control is currently in discussions with the relevant government departments on the facilitation of specific human rights training particularly the:..

• Optional Protocol to CRC on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;..

Recommendation 79.29

30. The Supreme Court of Nauru in 2015 formally removed the corroboration rule. The Supreme Court in the case stated in relation to Criminal Case No. CF 7/2015 The Republic v Saeed Mayahi the question posed by the learned Resident Magistrate, through the submission of the amicus curiae, is whether the practice of the Courts requiring a corroboration warning for the evidence of women or girl victims relating to sexual offences, is contrary to Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution. The amicus submitted that the ratification by the Republic of Nauru of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Woman (CEDAW) and being a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) committed to compliance with treaty obligations, negates the rule of practice in requiring corroboration for female complainants in sexual offence cases.

31. The court held that “...the rule of practice requiring the giving of a corroboration warning relates to cases in this jurisdiction in which only a woman or girl can be the complainant. Thus to require a corroboration warning to be given in relation to these complainants only, is to discriminate against them on the basis of their sex. This offends against the tenet of section 3 of the Constitution of Nauru.” Accordingly the Court ruled that there will be no rule of practice or requirement that a corroboration warning is to be given in all cases involving complainants in sexual offence matters before the Courts in Nauru.

Recommendation 79.33/37

33. In order to ensure a stronger focus on children and young people, a dedicated Division of Child Protection Services was established in 2015 aimed at providing stronger, consistent and efficient technical, policy and support service on children’s issues in Nauru. The newly established Division of Child Protection Services is currently resourced and housed by the Ministry of Home Affairs Three government positions are now in place and deals exclusively with matters relating to children in Nauru – Director of Child Protection, Senior Protection Officer, and Child Protection Officer. Additionally, the Division of Child Protection Services has the mandate of establishing national systems and processes to respond effectively and efficiently to cases of child abuse and neglect. Additionally, documentation is also available for the newly created positions within the Department of Children Services. In addition to the above, support to the work of the Division of Child Protection Services is provided for by the by DVU of the Nauru Police Force, whose mandate is to investigate, report and respond to victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

Recommendation 79.35/36

35. The government of Nauru through the Ministry of Home Affairs and particularly the Women’s Affairs Division, and the Division of Child Protection Services have facilitated specific human rights training for community leaders and members of the community on human rights. The Department of Women have also provided assistance and training on women’s rights. The Women’s Affairs Division have also undertaken the facilitation of a National Consultation on Violence against Women together with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The aim of the national consultation was to discuss and ascertain the need for a stand-alone rights based approach domestic violence legislation.

36. In May 2015, the Department of Justice and Border Control in partnership with the Women’s Affairs Division and the Division of Family and Community Services facilitated an open forum on the Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC) with teachers from Nauru. The aim of the open forum was to discuss the need to apply the CRC in schools and how to effectively gauge monitoring. Furthermore, the Ministry of Justice through the Department of Justice and Border Control is currently coordinating and convening the Pleaders Course. The Pleaders course is aimed at Nauruans citizens interested in undertaking paralegal work in Nauru. The programme is designed to assist court pleaders with information to provide legal assistance to Nauruans. Currently, twenty four students are enrolled in the one year course. The Pleaders course include Constitutional Law, Torts Law, Contract Law, Land Law, Civil Law, Criminal Law and Family Law.

Recommendation 79.41

41. In September 2015 the Department of Justice and Border Control, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in partnership with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Pacific Regional Office) convened human rights training for representatives from the fourteen government departments including civil society organisation (CSO) representatives. The human rights training focused on treaty ratification and reporting for the government of Nauru and the added value of ratifying already signed treaties. It also provided an opportunity for the different government departments to plan and map out a plan of action on how best to integrate human rights in national policies and development plans. Additionally, in May 2015 the Department of Education and the Department of Justice and Border Control in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the UNESCAP convened the first legislative compliance on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on behalf of government. The legislative compliance saw partners consult and meet with representatives of the fourteen government departments including members of the Able Disable, Nauru Persons with Disabilities Association to discuss the status of person with disabilities in law and policy.

42. Furthermore, the Ministry of Home Affairs through the Department of Women continues with their ongoing training on women’s rights for the 12 districts in Nauru. The human rights training focused on the articles of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women and how it can be best translated and implemented nationally. Additionally, the Department of Justice and Border Control in partnership with the Department of Women and the Division of Child Protection Services convened a consultation on the Convention on the Rights of the Child for teachers in Nauru.

45. In July 2015, the Ministry of Home Affairs invited the SPC to conduct a five day workshop on Eliminating Violence against Women (EVAW), Human Rights and on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Invitations were extended to faith based organizations such as Principal of Assembly of God School, President of the Legion of Mary Catholic Women’s Fellowship, Secretary for the Nauru Congregational Women’s Fellowship Council, President for Nauru Youth Fellowship Council, Nauru Disabled Person’s Association, Coordinator for NIANGO, Community leaders along with government departments that deal with issues relating to women and children.

Recommendation 79.42/43/44/45/46/47/48

46. In May 2015, the Government of Nauru received and facilitated the visit of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture in Nauru. The UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture focussed its visit on the situation of detainees on the island and that of the need to establish an independent body to monitor places of detention. The three-day visit, gave the opportunity for the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture to visit Nauru's police station and prison, as well as the Regional Processing Center (RPC) for asylum-seekers, a large facility comprising three separate units housing men, women and families with children. In addition, the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture also visited the Nauru Correctional Office and the asylum seekers centres in Nauru. The UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture also facilitated interviews with asylum seekers and refugees to determine compliance with international standards and procedures.

Recommendation 79.49/50/51

48. The Government of Nauru has in the past months worked to finalise its overdue reports namely the:

Convention on the Rights of the Child;

Recommendation 79.54

51. The Department of Education and the Department of Justice and Border Control and, in partnership with the Pacific Disability Forum and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat convened national consultation with both government and NGO stakeholders with regards a national disability policy for the Government of Nauru. The Nauru National Policy on Disability sets out a comprehensive framework to address the needs and rights of persons with disabilities in particular to improve the quality of their lives and their full and equal participation as empowered citizens. In addition through UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Fund a draft Work Plan for 2014-2015 has been discussed with government counterparts, Ministry of Health and Medical Service (MHMS) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), and presented in late May 2015 to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) to facilitate formal confirmation. It proposes continuing work with MHMS (in close coordination with UNFPA and WHO) and starting a work with the newly established Family and Community Services Division of MoHA. The work is in two main areas: a) Pregnant women, mothers and children equitably benefit from improvement of neonatal, child and maternal survival, health and nutrition; and b) Child Protection situation analysis and related CRC reporting requirements completed.

Recommendation 79.58/59

54. The Ministry of Home Affairs through the Department of Woman have in place a Nauru National Women’s Policy (2014-2024); Nauru Women’s Action Plan-2005-2015 and the Nauru Young Women’s Action Plan-2009-2015. This policy documents outline and guide development work related to women’s issues, particularly that of eliminating violence against women. The Department of Women also rely on monthly and annual reports to monitor and measure progress made in the area of women’s rights. Furthermore, in 2014 the Women’s Affairs Division with the technical support of the United Nation Family Protection Association (UNFPA) and financial support of Australian Aid (AusAID) conducted the Nauru Family Health and Support Study (NFHSS). This was an exploratory study on violence against women and girls. The findings of the NFHSS report were fully disseminated through the publication of brochures, on-air television and radio interviews to raise awareness at the community level of impacts of VAW on children.

Recommendation 79.55/60/61/62/63/64/65/66/67/68

55. Work continues to replace the Criminal Code 1899 with a new Nauru Criminal Code. The Australian Attorney Generals’ Department (Pacific Section) is working with the Department of Justice and Border Control and the Nauru Police Force to draft a new Criminal Code for Nauru, in three separate parts. The first part, concerning offences against the person, is the part of most relevance in terms of compliance with CEDAW. It is envisaged that all of the existing gender distinctions and discriminatory provisions will be removed in the new Code. The passage of this important law reform through Parliament will allow for and ensure compliance with the obligations of CEDAW. Suffice to say that there is now a strong call for stand-alone domestic violence legislation. The objective of the new Criminal Code is to modernize Nauru’s criminal laws so that it can meet the interests and needs of the developing society and the various facets of the criminal justice system. Most of the sexual offences in the Nauru Criminal Code are located in Chapter XXII of the Criminal Code. While these offences cover a broad range of sex offences, they do not include many modern offences, particularly in relation to child sexual exploitation and assault of a person. Consequently, this indicates more options for criminal culpability of violence instigated by men against women. The new Criminal Code will also move all sexual offences to one Division, which makes it more user friendly for the Nauru Police Force and the Director of Public Prosecutions when proffering the appropriate charge for offences containing violence against women. Other new developments that will be seen in the Criminal Code is the offence of stalking, which is designed to capture behaviours that stops short of assault, but which could raise fear or apprehension in the victim. It can also be used to prosecute a person prior to the commission of a more serious offence. Consent in sexual offenses by women is a common issue, which traverses all offences containing violence against women and so the Criminal Code proposes to address this fundamental issue by providing a non-exhaustive list of circumstances in which consent is not taken to be given freely and voluntarily, for example, if force is used.

Recommendation 79.69/70/71/72

56. In the case of The Republic of Nauru v Jacko Gadeanag Criminal Case No 83/2015 involving the indecent treatment of a boy under the age of 14 contrary to section 210 of the Criminal Code 1899. The victim was two years old at the time of the offence. The District Court sent the case to the Supreme Court for sentencing. The Supreme Court sentenced the accused to four years. This has become a landmark decision as it provides increased sentencing for child victims.

57. The Child Protection Services with the support of the Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism (PACTAM) Gender Based Violence Advisor are in the process of developing the Mandatory Reporting Framework for Nauru. The plan takes into account best practices from the region and how it can be best implemented nationally given the limited resources. It is considerate of the fact that the Nauru Police Force (NPF) DVU is resourced by two officers, the Child Protection Service (CPS) division has three staff members, and the laws of Nauru are vague or nonexistent on some issues relating to child protection and insufficient child counseling capacity.

58. The Cyber Crime Act 2015 is a significant piece legislation aimed exclusively at cyber safety particularly the protection of children from abuse. The Cyber Crime Act 2015 was enacted by parliament to combat the growing cases of sexual assault and abuse of minors via social media. Cybercrime is used to describe both: crimes directed at computers or other information communications technologies (ICTs) (such as hacking and denial of service attacks), and crimes where computers or ICTs are an integral part of an offence (such as online fraud, identity theft and the distribution of child exploitation material).


65. Nauruans have been able to increase their income and improve the livelihoods of their families through the Enterprise Resource Centre. The Enterprise Resource Centre has assisted many Nauruans who have accessed the Centre’s services including financial literacy training and access to a micro-credit fund that provides loans of up to AU$2000. Support from the Centre has led to the establishment of 16 successful businesses and five new jobs have been created. The Centre has funded 17 business projects were funded of which 14 of them were led by women, including 10 young women, and three by men, of which two were youths. Robust economic growth, since the Government was elected in 2013, has seen economic growth rate of at least 15%. Last year saw job creation exceed the employment market and the Government of Nauru implementing welfare and education incentives to strengthen programs to fight poverty. The Centre was set up in 2010 as part of the Nauru Entrepreneurship Development Programme, a joint initiative between the Government of Nauru and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with US$211,693 funding from the Government of Australia through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The Nauru Entrepreneurship Development Programme has made a contribution to the development of the Small and Medium Enterprise sector – a priority identified in Nauru’s National Sustainable Development Strategy 2005-2025. Additionally, the Government of Nauru has approved opening of the Bendigo Ban which has provided the much needed banking services for Nauru. Further, the government of Nauru has in place a welfare system which allows for payment of allowance to senior citizens and new born babies.

Recommendation 79.89/90/91

75. In the Education sector, school enrolment rates continue to improve, however, truancy also continues to plague the Education Department as one of its biggest challenges. In response the Education Department is in the process of developing a truancy strategy to address this issue. Some of the activities already in place to address this issue include the School Feeding program which provides free lunches to all school students and enforcement of the Education Act by which parents of children found to be truant are prosecuted and fined. The newly implemented school allowance program, to reward students attending and participating in school, greatly increased attendance by 20%–30%.

76. Capacity building in the Education Department continues to enjoy great success with the continuation of teacher up-skilling programs with the University of New England (UNE) as well as University of the South (USP). In the early 2016 the Education Department will see their first batch of teachers graduate from UNE with an Associate Degree in Pacific Education. USP has already successfully graduated another successful group of teachers with a Diploma in Early childhood education while also continuing to train another group for a certificate in early childhood education. Capacity building within the Education Department is not exclusive to teachers but is also extended to other members of the department such as senior management/administration and operational staff also undergoing training. Education has also enjoyed great success in terms of infrastructure with school refurbishments continuing to take place. In particular much needed major works have taken place at Kayser College while other schools have enjoyed repairs. The Learning Village continues to progress steadily albeit not at the desired rate. As of May 2015, Phase 1 of the Learning Village was successfully completed and the TVET Automotive centre was officially opened.

Recommendation 79.92

77. Children with disabilities are not integrated into streamline education, however, a center of has been established which caters to their educational needs. The ‘Able Disable Centre’ of Nauru was established in 2002. This is the first centre established in Nauru for children with special needs. To date, the Able Disable Centre is resourced by a teacher in charge, 2 teachers, 3 trainee teachers with one, teacher being hearing impaired. Currently, 42 students, with ages ranging from 4 to 34 attend classes at the Able Disabled Centre. Classes are held from Monday to Friday and as follows: minors start at 9:00am to 12:00pm; and primary and secondary level from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Current programs taught at the Able Disable Centre focus on: (a) life Skills in gardening, cooking, health and art and craft; and (b) Individual Education Program (IEP). Inclusive education will be progressively realized in the coming years.

Recommendation 79.93

79. Nauru became a party to the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Convention in March 2013. A recommendation was given to the Government of Nauru to join the ICH Convention and develop a strategy for the ICH safeguarding. Upon receiving the recommendation of the WGT, the Cabinet made a decision to accede to the ICH Convention. The Instrument of Ratification signed by the President of Nauru was received by UNESCO in March 2013. Areas of significant progress/achievements in relation to the conservation of culture and traditional knowledge include:

  • setting up the Community Cultural Resource Persons & Elders Committee; 
  • setting up the Cultural Studies Programme with the Nauru Secondary School and the Youth Affairs Department; 
  • organising the UNESCO sponsored national workshop on Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Nauru in May 2011; 
  • being part of the EU funded ECH programme.
    Recommendation 79.94/95 

80. As of 21 August 2015, Nauru has 642 Asylum Seekers (151 Female and 491 Male) and 523 Refugees (351 Male and 172 Female). All Service Providers are contracted by the Australian Government to provide required education, recreation and welfare services on Nauru to asylum seekers and refugees (including children and their families, childless couples and single adult women). All services in Nauru are supplied under contract with the Commonwealth of Australia through its representative, Australian Border Force. All services are delivered in accordance with the contract, the RPC Guidelines and associated Codes of Conduct. Nauru currently offers an open centre policy for all asylum seekers. This policy is open to all asylum seekers with unrestricted movement from 9am–9pm daily.

81. Transfield Services’ Welfare team provide education, recreation and cultural programs and activities within Regional Processing Centre 2 and more recently into Regional Processing Centre 3. The delivery within Regional Processing Centre 3 is supplementary to the current programs and activities that are on offer by Save the Children. The purpose of the case management and meaningful activities program is to ensure the well-being of transferees so that they can remain engaged with their status resolution process. These services form part of a holistic, integrated approach to maintaining the wellbeing of the centre and its people. Transfield Services employees work in accordance with the RPC Guidelines and Employee Code of Conduct at all times ensuring the promotion and protection of asylum seeker and refugees rights. Programs and activities are both structured and unstructured across a number of program areas including: education; cultural and religious; recreation and sporting programs and excursions. All programs aim to build emotional resilience and cultural spirit, whilst enhancing the wellbeing of the transferees and aim to ensure that transferees are active and motivated whilst at the Regional Processing Centre (RPC).

82. Whilst International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) are the designated medical service provider, Save the Children Australia’s care model also includes prenatal and postnatal support for parents, and a maternal and child health program delivered through SCA community health nurses. This model has been developed in consultation with IHMS to ensure that best practice is achieved through collaborative and integrated case management. In addition, recreation services focus on providing both structured and unstructured activities as a means of safeguarding asylum seekers’ physical and mental health.

83. In order to help protect children who are particularly vulnerable, Save the Children Australia focuses on ensuring enhanced monitoring and regular reporting of vulnerable children, and escalates individual cases to the Australian Border Force (ABF) and Government of Nauru (GoN) as required. In addition, SCA holds responsibility for coordinating the response and investigation, where an incident has occurred involving a child, and making an assessment as to whether police should be notified or referrals to other service providers such as IHMS.

84. Transfield Services’ Programs and Activity schedule is developed for the participation of asylum seekers only albeit some activities are conducted in the community such as recreation activities (soccer), cooking, beach walks etc. Asylum seekers are able to participate in Open Centre arrangement promoting self-agency however there have been events such as the Nauru Fun Run. A committee has recently been initiated (Community Integration Committee) who meet each month and is a collaborative forum for all stakeholders both in the Regional Processing Centre (RPC) and the Nauru Community to liaise and support transitional programs to improve continuity of services asylum seekers and refugees. Additionally, essential services such as health, education, transportation to name a few are also available to refugees currently living in the community and at refugee centres.

Recommendation 79.99/100

91. Land resources and water for agriculture are highly limited. Agriculture makes up 1.2% of the GDP. Nauru is primarily dependent on imports for food security Nutrition and school gardening programmes have been introduced to build awareness in local communities. Food security is being considered in a number of sectoral issues such as land resources, coastal and marine resources and health. It has also been recognized as a key issue related to the rehabilitation of the land affected by the mining. Additionally, donors have assisted in the installation of an agricultural and animal farm. Both these farms have been operating for more than five years. The agriculture farm grows tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, cabbages, lettuce and some bananas; and, the animal farm produces mainly pigs and eggs. Both farms educate members of the community in methods of agriculture and animal husbandry.

V. Achievements, best practices, challenges and constraints

A. Achievements

93. Significant achievements also include the successful visit of the sub committee on the Convention against Torture on the Republic of Nauru plans on the implementation of the Convention against Torture; Removal of the corroboration warning by the Supreme Court of Nauru; Creation of the Child Protection Service Division’ Creation of the Social Welfare Division; Increasing sentencing in child abuse cases; Establishment of national policies relating to women, children, person with disabilities and youth.


Compilation of UN Information 

I. Background and framework 

A. Scope of international obligations

1. International human rights treaties

2. The country team urged Nauru to continue its progress in the effective implementation of recommendations accepted during the first universal periodic review, including the ratification of ICCPR and its two Optional Protocols.9 The country team further encouraged Nauru to ratify ICERD,10 ICRMW,11 ICPPED,12 OP-IESCR,13 OP- CEDAW,14 the three Optional Protocols to CRC15 and OP-CRPD16, and recommended that it seek capacity–building assistance, guidance and technical support from the United Nations and regional partners to increase reporting on international human rights conventions.

4. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) stated that Nauru had not acceded the Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960).19 It encouraged Nauru to ratify the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972) and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005).

C. Institutional and human rights infrastructure and policy measures

8. The country team observed that Nauru did not have a child protection system or policy as required to support the incorporation into national legislation of CRC. It encouraged the introduction of a child protection programme and policy and the subsequent implementation across all relevant legislation and instructions, including the Education Act, to strengthen compliance with CRC.

II. Cooperation with human rights mechanisms

A. Cooperation with treaty bodies

10. The country team encouraged Nauru to submit its initial reports on CRC and CEDAW at its earliest convenience.

12. The country team noted as positive the visit to Nauru by the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture, scheduled for 4-6 May 2015.32 It also encouraged the Government of Nauru to seek technical assistance from the United Nations, particularly the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), with regard to the State’s obligations under international law, including CAT, OP-CAT and CRC.

III. Implementation of international human rights obligations, taking into account applicable international humanitarian law

A. Equality and non-discrimination

17. The country team encouraged the Government of Nauru to develop gender equality legislation and family violence and/or domestic violence legislation to provide protection and redress for survivors and prosecution of perpetrators.39 It further encouraged the Government to increase efforts to promote gender equality through community awareness and education, and to uproot patriarchal norms and attitudes that limit recognition and protection of women’s rights.

B. Right to life, liberty and security of person

19. The Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture visited Nauru in May 2015, focusing on the situation of detainees on the island and the need to establish an independent body to monitor places of detention. The Subcommittee visited the police station and the prison of Nauru, as well as the Regional Processing Centre for asylum seekers, a large facility comprising three separate units housing men, women and families with children.

20. The country team encouraged the amendment of the Criminal Code to prohibit physical abuse and sexual and other exploitation of children, including children with disabilities, and to increase penalties and sentencing against perpetrators of such abuse.

21. The country team was concerned about the human rights and the safety of unaccompanied refugee minors released into the Nauruan community. Those minors had allegedly been subject to physical and verbal assaults and had had limited access to education following their release into community. It urged the Government to address the alleged human rights violations of unaccompanied refugee minors regarding their physical and mental health, their right to safety and security of person and property and their right to education, in line with its obligations under CRC and other international human rights conventions.

22. The country team urged that the Criminal Code be amended to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all areas as a matter of priority. It also encouraged Nauru to harmonize the Code with the Education Act 2011, which already includes such a prohibition.

23. The country team further encouraged the introduction of reporting guidelines in schools, whereby complaints relating to any form of violence or abuse, including all forms of bullying, can be dealt with in a proper manner.

C. Administration of justice and the rule of law

26. The country team urged the Government to develop the capacity on human rights of law enforcement officials as a matter of priority, so as to prevent violence against women and children and torture and other acts of ill-treatment. It encouraged Nauru to seek technical assistance from the United Nations, particularly OHCHR, and partners in the development and delivery of capacity-building activities.

F. Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living

34. The country team noted that there was limited social assistance provided by the Government through old age and disability pensions, widows’ and sickness benefits and child endowment, which are administered by the local government council. It encouraged the Government to put in place legislative safeguards for social protection benefits to ensure there are safeguards for vulnerable groups, such as children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.

G. Right to health

36. The country team observed that the under-5 mortality rate for Nauru had dropped by 27 per cent from 51/1000 in 2000 to 37/1000 in 2012. However, immediate postnatal care for newborns and mothers remained very limited. It encouraged Nauru to continue its work to strengthen services and awareness around prenatal and postnatal care, including regular health check-ups for mother and baby.

H. Right to education

37. The country team encouraged the Government to take measures towards ensuring access to education at all levels, increasing also educational standards and skills. It further encouraged the Government to step up efforts to provide free quality education for all.

38. UNESCO strongly encouraged Nauru to make further efforts to ensure students with disabilities or students with special needs’ access to education.

39. UNESCO observed that salaries of teaching staff at all levels in Nauru were low compared with other regions, and there was a lack of qualified local teachers. Besides, higher education in Nauru was also limited. It encouraged Nauru to take further action to improve quality education at all levels.

I. Cultural rights

40. Noting that Nauru was a State party to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, UNESCO encouraged it to fully implement the relevant provisions that promote access to and participation in cultural heritage and creative expression. It also encouraged Nauru to give due consideration to the participation of communities, practitioners, cultural actors and non-governmental organizations from civil society and vulnerable groups, such as minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants, refugees, young people and people with disabilities, and to ensure that equal opportunities were given to women and girls to address gender disparities.

K. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

46. UNHCR noted that it was inappropriate to send asylum-seeking children to regional processing centres in remote locations, and that the mandatory and prolonged detention of such children may be in breach of CRC and other international human rights instruments. Moreover, children had been transferred without an assessment of their best interests and without adequate services in place to ensure their mental and physical well-being. Furthermore, children were in closed detention, in difficult conditions, without access to adequate educational and recreational facilities and with a lack of a durable solution within a reasonable time frame. UNHCR recommended that Nauru cease to receive transferred asylum—seeking children — whether accompanied, unaccompanied or separated — to Nauru under the current conditions. However, if children were transferred, Nauru should: (a) ensure they are treated in full respect of CRC and other applicable instruments; (b) prioritize their claims for international protection, which should be carried out by suitably qualified officials who are also able to determine their best interests; and (c) appoint an independent and qualified guardian and a legal adviser in the case of any unaccompanied or separated children.

47. The country team was also concerned at the impact of detention on the physical and mental health of asylum seekers, particularly of children. Prolonged detention was having profound negative impacts on the mental and physical health and development of children. The country team urged Nauru to release all children from immigration detention as a matter of priority. Children should be placed in detention as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.


Stakeholder Information

A. Background and framework

2. Constitutional and legislative framework

2. Amnesty International recommended that Nauru incorporate the provisions of core human rights instruments, including the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, into domestic law and implement them in policy and practice. NNWC called upon the government of Nauru to domesticate CEDAW as soon as possible and ensure that it consults women’s groups in Nauru on the process of domestication of CEDAW.

3. Institutional and human rights infrastructure and policy measures

12. ICAAD noted that the Nauru Police Force established a Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) in 2008, with the aim to collect and maintain statistics and case information that provide a realistic picture of violence against women. Additionally, the DVU coordinated with Women’s Affairs of Nauru and established in 2008 a temporary Safe House, which served as a refuge center for victims of domestic violence. This Safe House has sheltered over thirty-five women and children since its establishment. In 2013, the Government built a new Safe House, which now offers counselling services and a special program for survivors of domestic violence.

14. JS3 commended the Government for establishing a national focal point for children.

B. Cooperation with human rights mechanisms

1. Cooperation with treaty bodies

16. Noting that Nauru’s reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Committee against Torture and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are overdue, ICJ recommended that Nauru fulfil its reporting obligations.

C. Implementation of international human rights obligations, taking into account applicable international humanitarian law

2. Right to life, liberty and security of the person

25. Amnesty International recommended that Nauru end mandatory indefinite detention, amounting to arbitrary detention, of children in the Immigration Detention Centre. Amnesty International was also alarmed at reports of sexual abuse at the Immigration Detention Centre and apparent failure of the government to investigate these complaints and prosecute the alleged perpetrators. Amnesty International recommended that Nauru strengthen national laws to include provisions which specifically protect against physical and sexual abuse against children; to establish a process to ensure the prompt and independent investigation of allegations of sexual abuse at the centre and ensure that alleged perpetrators are charged in accordance with the law; to develop and implement a national child protection framework; and to implement the CRC in consistence with law, policy and practice.

26. Noting that since the UPR in 2011 Nauru has enacted the 2011 Education Act, which prohibits corporal punishment in schools, GIEACPC stated that in Nauru, corporal punishment of children is lawful, despite the State’s accession to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1994 and the Government’s acceptance of recommendations made during the UPR in 2011 to protect the rights of children including through the enactment of legislation.

27. ICAAD indicated that the lawful age to get married in Nauru is 16 years old and even earlier with consent. Early marriage has a profound impact on limiting opportunities for education and increasing the likelihood for violence. The minimum age for marriage should be set at 18 in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

4. Freedom of movement

32. JS1 was concerned at the freedom of movement and freedom of assembly of asylum seekers. The Government of Nauru issued a decree to limit the places that refugees can visit. They were forbidden from visiting schools, the hospital, the harbour and the airport. Media has reported attack by local Nauru population against refugees. JS1 recommended ensuring the personal security of asylum seekers and refugees in Nauru, and guaranteeing their rights to freedom of assembly, movement and expression.

6. Right to work and to just and favourable conditions of work

38. ICAAD stated that the Government continues to encourage women to seek higher positions in the private sector. Recently, the Government has supported and provided training workshops, such as business skills training for underprivileged women and youth.

9. Right to education

48. NPDO recommended that the Government ensure that the 2011 Education Act is implemented fully through ensuring that children with disabilities are accepted into the formal education system, and qualified teachers are able to incorporate learning techniques to cater for disabled students.71

10. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

49. JS1 noted that the conditions of the migration detention for asylum seekers in Nauru facility have been consistently criticised as unacceptable by national and international observers. On the 19th of July 2013 a riot caused substantial damage to the centre buildings and detainees were resettled in tent accommodation.72 JS1 also noted that, as at 31 January 2015, 119 of children were held in immigration detention and that there have been extensive complaints about abuse and aggression towards children by facility staff. JS1 recommended the immediate closure of the asylum seekers Regional Processing Centre in Nauru,74 and taking appropriate measures ensuring the rights to life, physical and mental integrity, and freedom from arbitrary deprivation of liberty of persons currently detained, especially children.

50. Amnesty International visited the Immigration Detention Centre and found that asylum seekers were detained arbitrarily and in harsh conditions for a lengthy period, which violates international laws. Amnesty International recommended that Nauru immediately review the regional resettlement arrangement with a view to ending offshore processing and offshore detention of asylum seekers; and to release asylum seekers from detention while their claims are being processed and ensure that rights to freedom of expression and freedom of movement are respected, with priority given to releasing children and families as soon as possible. In the interim, provide adequate safeguards for the detainees in detention, including reasonable standards of security and hygiene.


Accepted and Rejected Recomendation 

The recommendations formulated during the interactive dialogue and listed below have been examined by Nauru and enjoy the support of Nauru:

85.11 Ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and its Optional Protocol and the three Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Portugal);

85.25 Carry out all necessary efforts to continue to align national law with provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Uruguay);

85.31  Establish an effective protection system for children (France);

85.33 Expedite the submission of national reports to the human rights treaty bodies, including to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Committee against Torture and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Kenya);

85.43 Expand education and awareness programmes to eradicate sexual and gender violence (Chile);

85.45 Implement effective measures against domestic violence, including spousal rape, bring perpetrators to justice, and develop public education campaigns in this area (Canada);

85.49 Pass legislation increasing the legal age of marriage to 18 (Sierra Leone);

85.52 Further strengthen its programmes and social policies, paying particular attention to the fields of education, health and nutrition, giving priority to the neediest sectors of the population (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela);

86.1 Continue its cooperation with Treaty Bodies by submitting all its overdue reports, namely the initial reports on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Portugal);

86.2 Introduce and implement a national child protection framework (Georgia);

86.5 Promote gender equality in law and in practice, particularly through education and public awareness (Mexico);

86.18 Guarantee the right to social security of the population, especially of groups in vulnerable situations such as children and people with disabilities (Mexico);

87.19 Ensure that asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, particularly unaccompanied minors and children are given all necessary protection and social support (New Zealand);

87.22 Take immediate measures to improve the physical conditions and security situation in detention and processing centres for asylum seekers, especially for women and children. Invest in finding timely, adequate and durable solutions for refugees (Germany);

87.26 Take measures to implement and guarantee international human rights for asylum seekers, and in particular the right of women and girls who are seeking asylum to be protected from gender-based violence (Fiji);

87.27 Review the regional resettlement arrangement with a view to ending or reforming the offshore processing and offshore detention of asylum seekers; and to release asylum seekers from detention while their claims are being processed, priority being given to releasing children and families as soon as possible; and, in the interim, to provide adequate safeguards for the detainees in detention, including providing reasonable standards of security and hygiene (Kenya);

87.28 Establish concrete measures to guarantee that the rights of asylum seekers and refugees are upheld, particularly women and children in immigration detention or processing centres (Philippines);

87.29 Release all children from immigration detention as a matter of priority (Slovenia);








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