The situation of the Pacific Small Island States presents difficult challenges to state compliance with human rights obligations.
Culture and tradition as important elements in the societies of the Pacific Small Island States relate to two major issues: difficulty in curbing and/or remedying domestic violence, especially violence against women; and enactment of laws that adhere to international human rights standards. Many of these Pacific states, having been reminded of the need to address the two issues, argue on the necessity of carefully considering their culture and tradition as they comply with their human rights obligations.
Small island topography and climate-related environmental problems are major concerns that determine the states’ decisions on concrete human rights measures to undertake. Some states assert the necessity of addressing the survival of the state as a whole as their human rights priority.
The nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific from the 1950s by the United States, United Kingdom and France has health and environmental issues that have remained unresolved, especially as far as the Marshall Islands is concerned.
In consideration of the challenges, the legal, programmatic and institutional measures put in place in the Pacific Small Island States that support the protection and realization of human rights deserve recognition.