16 Mar 2015

UN office hopes Tonga ratifies CEDAW unconditionally

10:43 pm on 16 March 2015

The regional UN Human Rights Office is encouraging Tonga to remove conditions from its pending ratification of an international convention on women's rights.

The office head Satya Jennings says the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women, or CEDAW, is a start but more can be done.

Tonga's ratification comes with conditions, including local law superceding the convention in terms of succession to the throne and nobility, abortion and same sex marriage.

Ms Jennings says that is not ideal.

"The UN Human Rights Office based in the Pacific would hope that could be retracted and that the government would ratify CEDAW without reservations in order to guarantee the full protection and all the provisions under the convention which would expand the protection of women's rights."

The head of the UN Human Rights Office in the Pacific, Satya Jennings.