15 Aug 2011

Vanuatu becomes first Island nation to ban torture

9:19 am on 15 August 2011

Vanuatu has become the first Pacific Island nation to ratify the United nations convention against torture.

It joins 147 other countries that have banned torture through the ratification of the UN Convention known as CAT or the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

A spokesperson for the Pacific Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says the convention will give Vanuatu guidance on issues relating to policing, detention and the judiciary.

Matilda Bogner applauds Vanuatu for signing the convention, and says once it is implemented changes in the justice system will become apparent.

"Vanuatu has had a history of some problems within the justice sector so I see they are trying to address that. And that does show good leadership within the region to identify problems and take clear steps to try to address them."

Ms Bogner says only one other Pacific island country, Nauru, has signed the convention, but is yet to ratify it.