Women lack legal protection against gender-based violence in Niue

Until the 10th of December, the international16 days of activism against gender-based violence” will highlight the plight of women around the world who face violence every day.

In Niue, there is no legal protection for women and girls affected by gender-based violence or victims of family-based violence.

BCN News understands that the Police apply a ‘no drop’ policy but this has no legal basis and is only applied at the discretion of the Police. There has been criticism that this policy does not work because some cases did not make it to court.

The Family Protection Bill which is expected to provide protection for women against family violence remains in draft form and has been for more than ten years. The government had indicated presenting the bill before the Fono Ekepule before the end of the year.

The last sitting of the Fono Ekepule is expected in either the second or third week of December.

The 16 days of activism is an annual international campaign which started on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. This year’s global theme is “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”

The UN Secretary General António Guterres says that “Violence against women and girls is a global human rights challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed this issue as a global emergency requiring urgent action at all levels, in all spaces and by all people. The social and economic fallout from the pandemic is disproportionately pushing women and girls into poverty, and the risk of violence against them is rising”.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres urges the global community to hear the voices and experiences of women and girls and take into account their needs, especially survivors and those who face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.

Mr. Guteres says that we must also prioritize women’s leadership in finding solutions and engage men in the struggle.

BCN News will run stories until the end of the campaign bringing awareness to the situation of women, their rights, and protection in Niue.

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