30 Oct 2015

FSM's treatment of women, children under spotlight

1:00 pm on 30 October 2015

The Federated States of Micronesia will have its human rights record reviewed by the United Nations next week, with much of the focus on the treatment of women and children.

The FSM is one of 14 member countries being examined as part of the UN Universial Periodic Review process.

Among the issues to be looked at are violence against women, discrimination against women and their participation in public life, human trafficking, the rights of the disabled, child protection policies and steps to enhance education and the right to that education.

The acting head of the UN Human Rights Office for the Pacific, Catherine Phuong, says women and children's rights seem to be a particular issue.

"Sadly, as in many other Pacific Island countries, rates of violence against women and children are high. Women's participation in political life is still limited in fact no women has ever been elected to congress so in light of these ongoing challenges, the focus on women and children is justified."

Ms Phuong says the FSM has also only ratified two core international human treaties which could be improved significantly.