The accession of Kiribati to the 'UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT)' on 22 July 2019 reinforces the country’s commitment to the promotion of human rights. The accession follows the Kiribati Government’s commitment during its 2015 Universal Periodic Review to thoroughly examine UNCAT and its capacity to implement the Convention. Kiribati has become the 6th Pacific nation to accede to the UNCAT and the 167th State party internationally. Kiribati’s accession also sends an important signal to the Pacific region, which has strategic importance in accelerating ratification and active implementation of the UNCAT within the overarching aspiration to achieve its universal ratification.
Torture and other ill-treatment are among the most abhorrent violations of human rights, human integrity and human dignity. The fight against torture is one of the long-standing policy priorities of the European Union. The EU is a leading institutional actor and donor to the efforts of civil society organisations around the world in support of the fight against torture and ill-treatment, and actively supports the work of the UN bodies and other relevant actors on prevention and eradication of all forms of torture and ill-treatment worldwide.
The introduction of a number of related pieces of legislation in recent years by the Government of Kiribati, notably the adoption of the 'Education Act 2013' which forbids corporal punishment in schools, the 'Te Rau n te Mweenga Act 2014' which criminalises domestic violence, and the 'Juvenile Justice Act 2015', which seeks to ensure the protection of children in conflict with the law, are further positive developments.
As the European Union, we will continue to work with the authorities and all stakeholders in Kiribati to further promote and protect human rights in the country.