Strengthening human rights protection systems in a Pacific regional human rights architecture.

Despite human rights being contested in the Pacific, all Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Member States have various normative and institutional framework that ensures their protection and promotion.

The human rights architecture at the national and regional level varies significantly with various institutional and normative gaps. At the national level, many Pacific States continue to struggle with the conceptualisation of human rights and reconciling its conflicts with culture and religion, the two dominant narratives that characterise Pacific States. This project looks at the importance of creating institutional frameworks for the protection of human rights at the national level.

It also examines the current human rights architecture at the regional (PIF) level which is weak despite the aspirations of Pacific Leaders captured in various regional frameworks including the 2009 Pacific Plan, the 2019 Framework for Pacific Regionalism and recently the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent calling for a region known for its ‘full observance of democratic values, the rule of law, the defence and promotion of all human rights.’ To strengthen the protection of human rights at the regional level, the region needs to add “teeth to its bark”. The time has come for the Pacific to explore the creation of institutional and normative frameworks that ensure accountability and enforceability of human rights commitments by Pacific leaders.

This seminar is Romulo’s final presentation of his doctoral candidature.

About the speaker

Romulo Nayacalevu is a Fijian lawyer who has worked in the area of human rights across the Pacific for over 15 years before deciding to do his PhD in an area that he is passionate about, strengthening human rights regimes in the Pacific. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the South Pacific, and postgraduate degrees in governance, international affairs, diplomacy and law both from USP and ANU. He took up his PhD studies in the middle of the Covid pandemic.

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This seminar presentation will be dual-delivery.

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Image credit: Public domain image from the Young Pacific Leaders 4-6 Oct 2023 Human Rights Workshop, Apia, Samoa from US Embassy NZ flickr account.



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