Solomon Islands ‘Family Protection’ Bill Deferred

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Solomon Islands ‘Family Protection’ Bill Deferred Ministry secretary: more time for consultation needed

By Bradford Theonomi

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 9, 2013) – In the Solomon Islands, the newly designed law to holistically address family issues including violence against women and protecting the victims has been deferred for the next parliament sitting as opposed to early expectation for this month of July.

Deferment of the family protection Bill was to give time for further consultations between relevant authorities.

Ministry of women, youth and children affairs permanent secretary, Ethel Sigimanu confirmed this over the weekend.

"The proposed family protection Bill as expected before parliament in the July sitting has been deferred."

She said deferment of the bill is to allow time for consultations and scrutinizing of the Bill to be done properly by the Attorney General’s office together with the ministry.

Eliminating Violence Against Women (EVAW) Officer, Pioni Boso further clarified the deferred Bill and said that it is important the Bill is properly considered and thoroughly made before it goes to parliament.

"This is important because the Bill itself covers key areas needed to be looked at properly and discussed so it can be outlined clearly."

Ms. Boso added one aspect of it is, it has been designed in Solomon Islands context thus requires numerous consultations to ensure it is stated clearly and may benefit all the issues surrounding families.

"More so it creates a law that families, women, men and children of Solomon Islands can take ownership of."

The Bill as understood carries the result from a report that shows high rate of rape and violence cases against women and girls.

It is designed to address and protect those legally and illegally married that faces the challenge of domestic violence in their families.

As for males, this Bill also caters for them in all circumstances thus designing it into the context of Solomon Islands has been the primary focus of this bill.

At the core of the Bill are measures to:

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