SOLOMON ISLANDS: Children's Rights in UN Treaty Body Reports

Summary: This report extracts mentions of children's rights issues in the reports of all UN Treaty Bodies and their follow-up procedures. This does not include the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which are available here:

Please note that the language may have been edited in places for the purpose of clarity.


UN Human Rights Committee

Not yet signed or ratified.


UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Last reported: 18 November 2002
Concluding Observations issued: 29 November 2002

Issues raised:

Violence: The Committee is alarmed at the high incidence of domestic violence against women and children in the State party. (Paragraph 10).

The Committee urges the State party to adopt and implement effective legislative and administrative measures to protect members of the family, particularly women and children, from domestic violence. The Committee recommends that the State party establish support services for victims of domestic violence and take steps to sensitize law enforcement officials and the general public to the gravity of this issue.

Health: The Committee is concerned that malnutrition, especially among young people, is widespread, despite the fact that food supplies are available in almost sufficient quantities in all parts of the country. (Paragraph 12).

The Committee further urges the State party to address the problem of malnutrition, including through seeking assistance from international organizations.

Education: The Committee is deeply concerned that primary education is not compulsory in the State party, as provided for in article 14 of the Covenant. The Committee notes furthermore that the cost of textbooks, stationery and teaching materials is unaffordable for many parents and makes primary education inaccessible to many. (Paragraph 14).

The Committee further urges the State party to take steps to ensure that all children are able to fully exercise their right to free and compulsory primary education, in accordance with article 14 of the Covenant, and to seek assistance from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in this regard. The Committee refers the State party to its General Comment No. 11 (1999) on plans of action for primary education.

The Committee is concerned that fewer girls than boys enrol in primary schools and that there is a high drop-out rate among girls in both primary and secondary schools. (Paragraph 15).

The Committee recommends that the State party take effective measures, including programmes which explicitly target parents, to eliminate gender disparity in enrolment rates both at primary and secondary education levels.

Human rights education: The Committee encourages the State party to provide human rights education in schools at all levels and to raise awareness about human rights, in particular economic, social and cultural rights, among State officials and the judiciary. (Paragraph 31).


UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Last reported: 8 March 2002
Concluding Observations issued: 20 March 2002

At its 1502nd meeting, held on 8 March 2002 (CERD/C/SR.1502), the Committee reviewed the implementation of the Convention by the Solomon Islands based upon the concluding observations on the initial report in 1983 (see CERD/C/101/Add.1 and A/38/18, paras. 421-430) and previous reviews of the implementation of the Convention in 1992 and 1996 (see A/47/18, paras. 246-253 and A/51/18, paras. 446-448). The Committee also took into consideration a variety of materials from both intergovernmental and non-governmental sources. The Committee regrets that Solomon Islands has not responded to its invitations to participate in the meeting and to furnish relevant information.

Issues raised:

No references to children's rights.


UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women



Adopted by the Committee: 31 October 2014

Published by the Committee: 7 November 2014

Issues raised:

Legislative initiatives:

The Committee also welcomes the State party’s efforts to improve its institutional and policy framework aimed at accelerating the elimination of discrimination against women and promoting equality of women and men, such as the adoption of the following: The Scholarship Policy (2014) providing scholarship opportunities for girls and boys; The National Strategy on Economic Empowerment of Women and Girls (2014) (para.5).

Harmful practices:

The Committee regrets that girls are subjected to child marriages and bride selling under customary laws and that corporal punishment of children is a continuing practice which affects girls (para.22).

The Committee calls upon the State party to implement a strategy aimed at combating stereotypes through education and awareness-raising campaigns, with specific targets, aimed at women and men, girls and boys, focusing particular attention on the recognition of the value and dignity of women, their empowerment and participation in decision-making processes in the community and society at large. The strategy should engage the media and civil society organizations to combat negative stereotypes and discriminatory social attitudes towards women, in particular in rural areas; Urgently repeal customary laws which provide for child marriages and bride prices, and carry out campaigns, involving community leaders, on these practices as harmful practices contrary to the Convention, involving community leaders, in line with the Committee’s General Recommendation No. 31/ General Comment No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on harmful practices (para.23).

The Committee is concerned about the extremely low minimum age for marriage of 15 years for both boys and girls under the Islanders Marriage Act and the absence of a minimum age for marriage under customary law (para.44).

 The Committee recommends that the State party raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 years for girls and boys and apply it also to customary marriages and ensure that in exceptional cases of marriage below the age of 18 the same age limit is set for girls and boys, at 16 years of age, and that court authorization is required in all such cases, in accordance with the Joint General Recommendation/General Comment No. 31 of the Committee and No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on harmful practices; Prohibit the practice of payment of bride prices and adequately punish parents and legal guardians engaging in this practice (para.45).

Trafficking and sexual exploitation:

The Committee is concerned at the lack of data on trafficking and women in prostitution, about sexual exploitation of girls in logging areas and through pornography, the use of the bride price system to allow temporary marriages of girls to foreign workers, and the fact that sex tourism is not criminalized. The Committee is further concerned about the limited assistance available for women and girls victims of trafficking and the criminalization of women in prostitution, as well as the absence of reintegration programmes for women who wish to leave prostitution (para.26).

The Committee recommends that the State party ratify the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the protocols supplementing the Convention, in particular the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol), and seek the cooperation of States in the region and source countries to prevent and combat trafficking in women and girls and their exploitation in prostitution; Ensure that the revision of the Penal Code includes amendments to criminalize sex tourism and other forms of sexual exploitation of women and girls, including the use of girls in pornography; Implement measures aimed at preventing exploitation of prostitution of women and girls, giving particular attention to exploitation of prostitution in logging areas and in areas where large-scale projects are being developed and ensure the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators; and carry out programmes to promote the reintegration of women and girls in prostitution, including by providing alternative income-generating opportunities (para.27).


The Committee notes with concern: The inadequate education infrastructure affecting girls in particular, including the lack of basic sanitary facilities, separate latrines for girls, the long distances girls walk to school thereby exposing them to increased risks of violence, the lack of dormitories for girls in rural areas, and where they exist, are run without adequate security; Gender segregation at the tertiary level and women’s and girls’ continued traditional choices at rural training centres where they focus on cooking and sewing; The high drop-out rates among girls, in particular at the secondary level of education; and the high number of early pregnancies among adolescent girls, and dismissals of pregnant girls from school and the absence of re-entry policies for them after giving birth (para.32).

The Committee recommends that the State party to consider increasing the percentage of the budget allocated to education, to improve sanitation facilities at schools, by providing separate latrines for girls, increasing the number of dormitories for girls and providing affordable school transport, particularly in rural areas; Ensure security for girls in school premises, including dormitories, and investigate and prosecute allegations of sexual abuse and rape of school girls; Make primary education compulsory for all children and reduce indirect costs of schooling, such as costs for school transport and textbooks, as well as school-imposed charges, with a view to eliminating them; Compile and consider using good practices from other States parties in the Pacific region aimed at encouraging girls to choose non-traditional career paths; Strengthen efforts to retain girls in school, including pregnant girls, facilitate the return to school of young mothers after giving birth, by adopting the “Second Chance Education” policy currently under consideration and by providing adequate childcare facilities, and ensure that girls are not expelled from school on grounds of being pregnant, and by imposing appropriate sanctions on those responsible for such dismissals; and continue developing and promoting age-appropriate education on sexual and reproductive health to address early pregnancies (para.33).


The Committee notes with concern the extremely limited access of women and girls to healthcare especially the long distances women in remote locations have to walk to reach a health clinic, high transportation costs, lack of drugs and supplies, lack of trained personnel, and lack of obstetric health services for women, including pre- and post-natal services, in particular in rural and remote areas; Low community awareness of the linkages between safe drinking water, proper sanitation and hygienic practices leading to high rates of diarrhoea, intestinal worm infestation, high prevalence of stunting and under-weight among children (para.36).

The Committee recommends that the State party carry out information campaigns and free counselling at the community level for women and girls about their sexual and reproductive health and rights, including responsible sexual behaviour, prevention of early pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases;Design a monitoring mechanism to report about mental health of women and girls, and use its results to develop mental health programmes and services (para.37).

The disabled:

The Committee is concerned about the lack of public policies and measures to protect the rights of women and girls with disabilities, including their rights to inclusive education, health care, employment, housing and safe drinking water, sanitation, as well as the absence of mechanisms to protect women with disabilities from multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination (para.42).

The Committee calls on the State party to adopt comprehensive policies and programmes to protect the rights of women and girls with disabilities, ensuring their right to inclusive education and their equal access to employment, health care, housing, safe drinking water, sanitation and other services, and promote their autonomy and access to community services. It also calls on the State party to develop partnerships with civil society and community based organizations and international stakeholders to identify women and girls with disabilities in the State party who are facing discrimination based on their disability and other grounds, as well as isolation, confinement and different forms of physical and psychological violence (para.43).

UN Committee against Torture

Not yet signed or ratified.


UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture

No visits undertaken.


UN Committee on Migrant Workers

Not yet signed or ratified.


UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Signed in 2008, but not yet ratified.


UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance

Not yet signed or ratified.


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