Legal framework

This section lists Senegal's protected characteristics.

Preamble We, the people of Fiji declare that we are all Fijians united by common and equal citizenry, commit ourselves to the recognition and protection of human rights and respect for human dignity, declare our commitment to justice, national sovereignty and security, social and economic wellbeing, and safeguarding our environment. Article 4. Religious liberty, as recognised in the Bill of Rights, is a founding principle of the State. Religious belief is personal.  Religion and the State are separate, which means the State and all persons holding public office must treat all religions equally, the State and all persons holding public office must not dictate any religious belief; the State and all persons holding public office must not prefer or advance, by any means, any particular religion, religious denomination, religious belief, or religious practice over another, or over any non-religious belief; and no person shall assert any religious belief as a legal reason to disregard this Constitution or any other law. Article 5 All citizens of Fiji shall be known as Fijians. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, all Fijians have equal status and identity, which means that they are equally entitled to all the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship; subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship. Citizenship of Fiji shall only be acquired by birth, registration or naturalisation. Citizens of Fiji may hold multiple citizenship, which means that upon accepting the citizenship of a foreign country, a person remains a citizen of Fiji unless he or she renounces that status; a former citizen of Fiji, who lost that citizenship upon acquiring foreign citizenship, may regain citizenship of Fiji, while retaining that foreign citizenship unless the laws of that foreign country provide otherwise; upon becoming a citizen of Fiji, a foreign person may retain his or her existing citizenship unless the laws of that foreign country provide otherwise. A written law shall prescribe; the conditions upon which citizenship of Fiji may be acquired and the conditions upon which a person may become a citizen of Fiji; procedures relating to the making of applications for citizenship by registration or naturalisation; conditions relating to the right to enter and reside in Fiji; provisions for the prevention of statelessness; rules for the calculation of periods of a person's lawful presence in Fiji for the purpose of determining citizenship; provisions relating to the renunciation and deprivation of citizenship; and such other matters as are necessary to regulate the granting of citizenship. Article 8. Every person has the right to life and may not be arbitrarily deprived of life. Article 9 determines the right to personal liberty with exception, including provision under a state of emergency. Article 10. A person must not be held in slavery or servitude or subjected to forced labour or human trafficking. Article 11.  Every person has the right to freedom from torture of any kind, whether physical, mental or emotional, and from cruel, inhumane, degrading or disproportionately severe treatment or punishment. Every person has the right to security of the person, which includes the right to be free from any form of violence from any source, at home, school, work or in any other place. Every person has the right to freedom from scientific or medical treatment or procedures without an order of the court or without his or her informed consent, or if he or she is incapable of giving informed consent, without the informed consent of a lawful guardian. Article 13 Every person has the right to be secure against unreasonable search of his or her person or property and against unreasonable seizure of his or her property. Search or seizure is not permissible otherwise than under the authority of the law. Articles 14 – 16 Rights of Accused Every person who is arrested or detained has the right; to be informed promptly, in a language that he or she understands, of the reason for the arrest or detention and the nature of any charge that may be brought against that person; the right to remain silent; and the consequences of not remaining silent; to remain silent; to communicate with a legal practitioner of his or her choice in private in the place where he or she is detained, to be informed of that right promptly and, if he or she does not have sufficient means to engage a legal practitioner and the interests of justice so require, to be given the services of a legal practitioner under a scheme for legal aid by the Legal Aid Commission; not to be compelled to make any confession or admission that could be used in evidence against that person; to be held separately from persons who are serving a sentence, and in the case of a child, to be kept separate from adults unless that is not in the best interests of the child; to be brought before a court as soon as reasonably possible, but in any case not later than 48 hours after the time of arrest, or if that is not reasonably possible, as soon as possible thereafter; at the first court appearance, to be charged or informed of the reasons for the detention to continue, or to be released; to be released on reasonable terms and conditions, pending a charge or trial, unless the interests of justice otherwise require; to challenge the lawfulness of the detention in person before a court and, if the detention is unlawful, to be released; to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity, including at least the opportunity to exercise regularly and the provision, at State expense, of adequate accommodation, nutrition, and medical treatment; and to communicate with, and be visited by his or her spouse, partner or next-of-kin and a religious counsellor or a social worker. Whenever this section requires information to be given to a person, that information must be given simply and clearly in a language that the person understands. A person who is deprived of liberty by being detained, held in custody or imprisoned under any law retains all the rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter, except to the extent that any particular right or freedom is incompatible with the fact of being so deprived of liberty. A person shall not be tried for; any act or omission that was not an offence under either domestic or international law at the time it was committed or omitted; or an offence in respect of an act or omission for which that person has previously been either acquitted or convicted. Every person charged with an offence has the right; to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law; to be informed in legible writing, in a language that he or she understands, of the nature of and reasons for the charge; to be given adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence, including if he or she so requests, a right of access to witness statements; to defend himself or herself in person or to be represented at his or her own expense by a legal practitioner of his or her own choice, and to be informed promptly of this right or, if he or she does not have sufficient means to engage a legal practitioner and the interests of justice so require, to be given the services of a legal practitioner under a scheme for legal aid by the Legal Aid Commission, and to be informed promptly of this right; to be informed in advance of the evidence on which the prosecution intends to rely, and to have reasonable access to that evidence; to a public trial before a court of law, unless the interests of justice otherwise require; to have the trial begin and conclude without unreasonable delay; to be present when being tried, unless the court is satisfied that the person has been served with a summons or similar process requiring his or her attendance at the trial, and has chosen not to attend; the conduct of the person is such that the continuation of the proceedings in his or her presence is impracticable and the court has ordered him or her to be removed and the trial to proceed in his or her absence; to be tried in a language that the person understands or, if that is not practicable, to have the proceedings interpreted in such a language at State expense; to remain silent, not to testify during the proceedings, and not to be compelled to give self-incriminating evidence, and not to have adverse inference drawn from the exercise of any of these rights; not to have unlawfully obtained evidence adduced against him or her unless the interests of justice require it to be admitted; to call witnesses and present evidence, and to challenge evidence presented against him or her; to a copy of the record of proceedings within a reasonable period of time and on payment of a reasonably prescribed fee; to the benefit of the least severe of the prescribed punishments if the prescribed punishment for the offence has been changed between the time the offence was committed and the time of sentencing; and of appeal to, or review by, a higher court. Whenever this section requires information to be given to a person, that information must be given as simply and clearly as practicable, in a language that the person understands. Article 15 Every person charged with an offence has the right to a fair trial before a court of law. Every party to a civil dispute has the right to have the matter determined by a court of law or if appropriate, by an independent and impartial tribunal. Every person charged with an offence and every party to a civil dispute has the right to have the case determined within a reasonable time. The hearings of courts (other than military courts) and tribunals established by law must be open to the public unless the interests of justice require otherwise. Every person charged with an offence, every party to civil proceedings, and every witness in criminal or civil proceedings has the right to give evidence and to be questioned in a language that he or she understands. Every person charged with an offence and every party to civil proceedings has the right to follow the proceedings in a language that he or she understands. To give effect to the rights referred to in subsections (6) and (7), the court or tribunal concerned must, when the interests of justice so require, provide, without cost to the person concerned, the services of an interpreter or of a person competent sign language. If a child is called as a witness in criminal proceedings, arrangements for the taking of the child's evidence must have due regard to the child's age. The State, through law and other measures, must provide legal aid through the Legal Aid Commission to those who cannot afford to pursue justice on the strength of their own resources, if injustice would otherwise result. If any fee is required to access a court or tribunal, it must be reasonable and must not impede access to justice. In any proceedings, evidence obtained in a manner that infringes any right in this Chapter, or any other law, must be excluded unless the interests of justice require it to be admitted. Article 16 Every person has the right to executive or administrative action that is lawful, rational, proportionate, procedurally fair, and reasonably prompt; every person who has been adversely affected by any executive or administrative action has the right to be given written reasons for the action; and any executive or administrative action may be reviewed by a court, or if appropriate, another independent and impartial tribunal, in accordance with law. Article 17 Every person has the right to freedom of speech, expression, thought, opinion and publication, which includes freedom to seek, receive and impart information, knowledge and ideas; freedom of the press, including print, electronic and other media; freedom of imagination and creativity; academic freedom and freedom of scientific research. Freedom of speech, expression, thought, opinion and publication does not protect; propaganda for war; incitement to violence or insurrection against this Constitution; or advocacy of hatred that is based on any prohibited ground of discrimination listed or prescribed under section 26; and constitutes incitement to cause harm. To the extent that it is necessary, a law may limit, or may authorise the limitation of, the rights and freedoms mentioned in subsection in the interests of national security, public safety, public order, public morality, public health or the orderly conduct of elections; the protection or maintenance of the reputation, privacy, dignity, rights or freedoms of other persons, including the right to be free from hate speech, whether directed against individuals or groups ; and the rights of persons injured by inaccurate or offensive media reports to have a correction published on reasonable conditions established by law; preventing the disclosure, as appropriate, of information received in confidence; preventing attacks on the dignity of individuals, groups of individuals or respected offices or institutions in a manner likely to promote ill will between ethnic or religious groups or the oppression of, or discrimination against, any person or group of persons; maintaining the authority and independence of the courts; imposing restrictions on the holders of public offices; regulating the technical administration of telecommunications; or making provisions for the enforcement of media standards and providing for the regulation, registration and conduct of media organisations. In this section, "hate speech" means an expression in whatever form that encourages or has the effect of encouraging discrimination on a ground listed or prescribed under section 26. Article 18 Every person has the right, peaceably and unarmed, to assemble, demonstrate, picket and to present petitions. Article 19 Every person has the right to freedom of association. Article 20 Every person has the right to fair employment practices, including humane treatment and proper working conditions. Every worker has the right to form or join a trade union and participate in its activities and programmes. Every employer has the right to form or join an employer's' organisation, and to participate in its activities and programmes. Trade unions and employers have the right to bargain collectively. Article 21 Outlines the provisions for the freedom of movement and residence. Article 22 Every person has the right to freedom of religion, conscience and belief. Every person has the right, either individually or in community with others, in private or in public, to manifest and practise their religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching. Every person has the right not to be compelled act in any manner that is contrary to the person's religion or belief; take an oath, or take an oath in a manner, that is contrary to the person's religion or belief; requires the person to express a belief that the person does not hold. Every religious community or denomination, and every cultural or social community, has the right to establish, maintain and manage places of education whether or not it receives financial assistance from the State, provided that the educational institution maintains any standard prescribed by law.  In exercising its rights, a religious community or denomination has the right to provide religious instruction as part of any education that it provides, whether or not it receives financial assistance from the State for the provision of that education. Except with his or her consent or, in the case of a child, the consent of a parent or lawful guardian, a person attending a place of education is not required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend a religious ceremony or observance if the instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion that is not his or her own or if he or she does not hold any religious belief. To the extent that it is necessary, the rights and freedoms set out in this section may be made subject to such limitations prescribed by law, to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons; public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or to prevent public nuisance. Article 23 Every citizen has the freedom to make political choices, and the right to form or join a political party; participate in the activities of, or recruit members for, a political party; and campaign for a political party, candidate or cause.  Every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections for any elective institution or office established under this Constitution. Every citizen who has reached the age of 18 years has the right to be registered as a voter; to vote by secret ballot in any election or referendum under this Constitution; to be a candidate for public office, or office within a political party of which the citizen is a member, subject to satisfying any qualifications for such an office; and, if elected, to hold office. Article 24 determines the right to privacy of personal information, confidentiality of communication sand respect for private and family life. Article 25 Every person has the right of access to information held by any public office; information held by another person and required for the exercise or protection of any legal right. Every person has the right to the correction or deletion of false or misleading information that affects that person. Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including race, culture, ethnic or social origin, colour, place of origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, birth, primary language, economic or social or health status, disability, age, religion, conscience, marital status or pregnancy; or opinions or beliefs, except to the extent that those opinions or beliefs involve harm to others or the diminution of the rights or freedoms of others or on any other ground prohibited by this Constitution. A law or an administrative action taken under a law may not directly or indirectly impose a limitation or restriction on any person on a prohibited ground. Every person has the right of access, membership or admission, without discrimination on a prohibited ground, to shops, hotels, lodging-houses, public restaurants, places of public entertainment, clubs, education institutions, public transportation services, taxis and public places. The proprietor of a place or service referred to in subsection must facilitate reasonable access for persons with disabilities to the extent prescribed by law. Treating one person differently from another on any of the grounds prescribed under subsection is discrimination, unless it can be established that the difference in treatment is not unfair in the circumstances. A law, or an administrative action taken under a law, is not inconsistent with the rights mentioned in this section on the ground that it appropriates revenues or other moneys for particular purposes; imposes a retirement age on a person; imposes a restriction on persons employed or engaged in a State service, or confers on them a privilege or advantage not imposed or conferred on other persons; imposes restrictions on persons who are not citizens, or confers on them a privilege or advantage, not imposed or conferred on citizens; makes provision with respect to adoption, marriage, devolution of property on death, and pension; excludes persons from holding certain public offices; or to the extent necessary and without infringing the rights or freedoms set out in any other section of this Chapter, gives effect to the communal ownership of iTaukei, Rotuman and Banaban lands and access to marine resources, or the bestowing of iTaukei, Rotuman and Banaban chiefly title or rank. Article 27 Freedom form arbitrary acquisition of property; Every person has the right not to be deprived of property by the State other than in accordance with a written law and no law may permit arbitrary acquisition or expropriation of any interest in any property. Articles 28 and 29 ensures rights for the protection of ownership and interests in land and Article 30 protects the right of landowners to fair share of royalties for mineral extraction. Article 31 Every person has the right to; early childhood education; primary and secondary education; and further education. Right to free early childhood, primary, secondary and further education; and to education for persons who were unable to complete their primary and secondary education. Conversational and contemporary iTaukei and Fiji Hindi languages shall be taught as compulsory subjects in all primary schools. The State may direct any educational institution to teach subjects pertaining to health, civic education and issues of national interest, and any educational institution must comply with any such directions made by the State. In applying any right under this section, if the State claims that it does not have the resources to implement the right, it is the responsibility of the State to show that the resources are not available. Article 32 Every person has the right to full and free participation in the economic life of the State, which includes the right to choose their own work, trade, occupation, profession or other means of livelihood. The State must take reasonable measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights recognised. Article 33 The right to work and a just minimum wage. The State must take reasonable measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of the right of every person to work and to a just minimum wage. Article 34 Right to reasonable access to transportation. Article 35 Right to housing and sanitation Article 36 Right to adequate food and water. Article 37 right to social security schemes;  The State must take reasonable measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of the right of every person to social security schemes, whether private or public, for their support in times of need, including the right to such support from public resources if they are unable to support themselves and their dependents. Article 38 Right to Health. The State must take reasonable measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of the right of every person to health, and to the conditions and facilities necessary to good health, and to health care services, including reproductive health care. A person must not be denied emergency medical treatment. Article 39 Freedom from arbitrary evictions Every person has the right to freedom from arbitrary evictions from his or her home or to have his or her home demolished, without an order of a court made after considering all the relevant circumstances. Article 40 Environmental Rights. Every person has the right to a clean and healthy environment, which includes the right to have the natural world protected for the benefit of present and future generations through legislative and other measures. Article 41 Rights of Children Every child has the right; to be registered at or soon after birth, and to have a name and nationality; to basic nutrition, clothing, shelter, sanitation and health care; to family care, protection and guidance, which includes the equal responsibility of the child's parents to provide for the child; whether or not the parents are, or have ever been, married to each other; and whether or not the parents are living together, have lived together, or are separated; to be protected from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, any form of violence, inhumane treatment and punishment, and hazardous or exploitative labour; and not to be detained, except as a measure of last resort, and when detained, to be held only for such period of time as is necessary; and separate from adults, and in conditions that take account of the child's sex and age. The best interests of a child are the primary consideration in every matter concerning the child. Article 42 Rights of persons with disabilities A person with any disability has the right to reasonable access to all places, public transport and information; to use sign language, Braille or other appropriate means of communication; and to reasonable access to necessary materials, substances and devices relating to the person's disability .A person with any disability has the right to reasonable adaptation of buildings, infrastructure, vehicles, working arrangements, rules, practices or procedures, to enable their full participation in society and the effective realisation of their rights. Article 43 covers Limitation of rights under States of Emergency. Article 44 Sets out the legal framework for enforcement of protections. Article 44 outlines the responsibilities of the Human Rights commission to promote the protection and observance of, and respect for, human rights in public and private institutions, and to develop a culture of human rights in Fiji; including education about the rights and freedoms recognised in this Chapter, as well as other internationally recognised rights and freedoms; monitoring, investigating and reporting on the observance of human rights in all spheres of life; making recommendations to Government concerning matters affecting the rights and freedoms recognised in this Chapter, including recommendations concerning existing or proposed laws; receiving and investigating complaints about alleged abuses of human rights and take steps to secure appropriate redress if human rights have been violated, including making applications to court for redress or for other forms of relief or remedies; investigating or researching, on its own initiative or on the basis of a complaint, any matter in respect of human rights, and make recommendations to improve the functioning of public or private entities; monitoring compliance by the State with obligations under treaties and conventions relating to human rights; and performing any other functions or exercising any powers as are conferred on the Commission by a written law.

https://abortion-policies.srhr.org/country/fiji/

Abortion in Fiji is allowed on grounds of foetal impairment, rape, incest, the mental impairment of the mother or dangers to her physical or mental well-being and in order to save a pregnant woman’s life.

Inter country adoption is not allowed at this time. Fiji has signed up to the Hague Convention on Adoption.

 

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances including age. And therefore, on these grounds, protection from discrimination.

The Age of Consent in Fiji is 16 years old regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender.

Albinos https://www.reuters.com/article/us-fiji-albinism-protection/fiji-urged-by-u-n-not-to-overlook-people-ostracized-for-having-albinism-idUSKBN1E11PH

 

Fiji has one of the highest rates of people with albinism in the world and yet very little is known about it by locals. The worldwide average rate for people with albinism is 1 in 17,000. In Fiji, the rate is 1 in 700. “They’re just invisible. There has been a history of neglect and Albinos are often bullied for their appearance, with some too traumatized to venture outside. Some husbands leave their wives if they have given birth to a child with albinism, and sometimes the children are abandoned by their parents. Yet with little or no melanin - the pigment that colours eyes, hair and skin and protects the body from harmful effects of the sun - skin cancer is a bigger threat for albinos in the Pacific region due to the sun and a lack of specialized care, such as dermatologists.

There is no provision in the Constitution, but rights are underpinned by legislation; The Fiji Immigration Act 2003.  As such, Fiji offers a strong legislative framework for those who seek protection.

The social structure among Fijian Hindus has almost disappeared over time and there is now no observable caste structure or discriminatory practice.

The caste system is still prevalent among many of Senegal’s ethnic groups. Individuals of lower castes are subject to discrimination in employment, health care and education. The legacies of discrimination based on caste continue to exist, especially in the socio-political sphere. Although it is not as profound and visible as it used to be in past decades, inter-caste discrimination still exists. Over the years, UN human rights bodies and experts have been concerned about caste discrimination, also known as discrimination, based on work and descent, as an urgent human rights problem that requires a lasting solution in a wide range of countries, including in Senegal.

https://www.unicef.org/pacificislands/reports/situation-analysis-children-fiji

Article 41 Rights of Children. Every child has the right; to be registered at or soon after birth, and to have a name and nationality; to basic nutrition, clothing, shelter, sanitation and health care; to family care, protection and guidance, which includes the equal responsibility of the child's parents to provide for the child; whether or not the parents are, or have ever been, married to each other; and whether or not the parents are living together, have lived together, or are separated; to be protected from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, any form of violence, inhumane treatment and punishment, and hazardous or exploitative labour; and not to be detained, except as a measure of last resort, and when detained, to be held only for such period of time as is necessary; and separate from adults, and in conditions that take account of the child's sex and age. The best interests of a child are the primary consideration in every matter concerning the child.

Nevertheless, Fiji does not currently have a national child protection strategy or issue-specific action plans relating to various forms of violence, abuse or exploitation of children. A National Comprehensive Policy and Strategy for Children is being drafted. Children’s right to care and protection has been addressed under a variety of national laws instead. However, a recent report from UNICEF states Fiji has limited quantitative data on child protection, and as a result it is not possible to present a clear picture of the nature and extent of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of children. Nonetheless, available information indicates that Fijian children experience various forms of violence, abuse both physical, sexual and mental, neglect and exploitation in several contexts, including within the home, in schools and in the community. The Committee on the Rights of the Child’s 2014 Concluding Observations to Fiji noted ‘with deepest concern’ that ‘sexual exploitation and abuse of children is prevalent in the State party, including through organized child prostitution networks and brothels’. A 2019 study conducted by ILO found that, of the 500 working children surveyed, one in five were engaged in commercial sexual exploitation, with some starting sex work as early as 10 years old. Sex Trafficking was also prevalent. Child labour, including the worst forms of labour, is reported to occur in Fiji. A 2010 International Labour Organization (ILO) survey of 500 children in Fiji who were engaged in child labour noted that over 60 per cent of the children surveyed were engaged in ‘hazardous work such as collecting and handling scrap metals, chemicals, carrying heavy loads, scavenging, working very long hours and subjected to psychological abuse. Additionally, there appear to be significant socio-cultural barriers to reporting violence, abuse neglect or exploitation of children, particularly in relation to sexual abuse within the family. Children and families reportedly tend to ‘cover up’ acts of violence or abuse in order to protect the reputation of the family or village. Reports have also identified a number of social norms that include a general acceptance of violence as a form of discipline or punishment and a lack of awareness of its impact on the negative impact.

Fiji family laws do not provide legal recognition of same-sex marriage or civil unions. Since 2002, the law has expressly banned same-sex marriage.

Articles 13-16 make general provision for the rights of the arrested and detained persons as well as rights to access to law and justice. The Act does not protect the rights of those with a criminal record.

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including race, culture, ethnic or social origin, colour, place of origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, birth, primary language, economic or social or health status, disability, age, religion, conscience, marital status or pregnancy; or opinions or beliefs,   Additionally, Article 17 Freedom of speech, expression, thought, opinion and publication does not protect against advocacy of hatred that is based on any prohibited ground of discrimination listed or prescribed under section 26; and constitutes incitement to cause harm. This protects citizens from hate speech likely to promote ill will between ethnic or religious groups or the oppression of, or discrimination against, any person or group of persons. On these grounds, protection from discrimination and/or harassment.

 

http://www.apcdfoundation.org/?q=content/Fiji

 

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including disability, thus on these grounds protected from discrimination.  Every person has the right of access, membership or admission, without discrimination on a prohibited ground, to shops, hotels, lodging-houses, public restaurants, places of public entertainment, clubs, education institutions, public transportation services, taxis and public places. The proprietor of a place or service referred to in subsection must facilitate reasonable access for persons with disabilities to the extent prescribed by law. Thus, on these grounds, protected from discrimination. Article 42 Rights of persons with disabilities A person with any disability has the right to reasonable access to all places, public transport and information; to use sign language, Braille or other appropriate means of communication; and to reasonable access to necessary materials, substances and devices relating to the person's disability. A person with any disability has the right to reasonable adaptation of buildings, infrastructure, vehicles, working arrangements, rules, practices or procedures, to enable their full participation in society and the effective realisation of their rights. There is also the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2018.

https://evaw-global-database.unwomen.org/en/countries/oceania/fiji/2009/women-s-plan-of-action--2009-2019

Article 10. A person must not be held in slavery or servitude or subjected to forced labour or human trafficking. Article 11.  Every person has the right to freedom from torture of any kind, whether physical, mental or emotional, and from cruel, inhumane, degrading or disproportionately severe treatment or punishment. Every person has the right to security of the person, which includes the right to be free from any form of violence from any source, at home, school, work or in any other place. There is also a Domestic Violence Law which, amongst other things, allows any person to apply for a domestic violence restraining order and such applications are dealt with as a matter of urgency at any time of the day. The police are legally obligated to enforce measures to promote the safety and well-being of victims of domestic violence, particularly women and children.

The Fijian Action plan (2009-2019) was aimed at elimination of still widespread incidents of violence against women but a recent US report states that there has not been sufficient movement on this issue.

https://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/atlas_report/profiles/fiji.pdf?ua=1

 

 

The use of a range of drug types, including alcohol, are part of the traditions of many, if not all, communities in Fiji. The Fijian and Indo-Fijian communities have long traditions of psycho-active drug use in the context of ritual and ceremony. It has been noted that seafarers, together with indentured labourers, brought cannabis or Indian hemp traditions to Fiji, with the sugar cane plantations providing fertile ground for cultivation. Meanwhile, kava was widely cultivated and consumed by ethnic Fijians. The Indo-Fijian community slowly adopted kava drinking rituals and gradually others began to increase their consumption. In addition, marijuana use emerged and spread with increasing popularity amongst youth, especially males. Recent reports in the media have also highlighted the problems. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/jun/24/ive-seen-terrible-terrible-violence-cocaine-and-meth-fuel-and-chaos-in-fiji

Article 31 Every person has the right to; early childhood education; primary and secondary education; and further education. Right to free early childhood, primary, secondary and further education; and to education for persons who were unable to complete their primary and secondary education. Conversational and contemporary iTaukei and Fiji Hindi languages shall be taught as compulsory subjects in all primary schools. The State may direct any educational institution to teach subjects pertaining to health, civic education and issues of national interest, and any educational institution must comply with any such directions made by the State. In applying any right under this section, if the State claims that it does not have the resources to implement the right, it is the responsibility of the State to show that the resources are not available.

Fiji has a high literacy rate (91.6 percent) and, although there is no compulsory education, more than 85 percent of the children between the ages of 6 to 13 attend primary school. The structure of the Fijian educational system is divided into primary school, secondary school, and higher education.

https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/fiji/

 

Article 20 Every person has the right to fair employment practices, including humane treatment and proper working conditions. Every worker has the right to form or join a trade union and participate in its activities and programmes. Every employer has the right to form or join an employer's' organisation, and to participate in its activities and programmes. Trade unions and employers have the right to bargain collectively. Article 32 Every person has the right to full and free participation in the economic life of the State, which includes the right to choose their own work, trade, occupation, profession or other means of livelihood. The State must take reasonable measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights recognised. Article 33 The right to work and a just minimum wage. The State must take reasonable measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of the right of every person to work and to a just minimum wage.

A recent (2018) US state report highlights the present provision and adherence; The regulations stipulate all employers must display a written national minimum wage notice in their workplace to inform employees of their rights. There was no official poverty-level income figure, but the minimum wage did not typically provide a decent standard of living for a worker and family. There is no single countrywide limitation on maximum working hours for adults, but there are restrictions and overtime provisions in certain sectors. The government establishes workplace safety laws and regulations. The Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations’ Office of Labour Inspectorate is responsible for enforcing the minimum wage, but the inspectorate lacked capacity to enforce the law effectively. Convictions for a breach of the minimum wage law result in a fine, imprisonment, or both. The Occupational Health and Safety Inspectorate monitored workplaces and equipment and investigated complaints from workers. Government enforcement of safety standards suffered from a lack of trained personnel and delays in compensation hearings and rulings. Although the law excludes mines from general workplace health and safety laws, it empowers the director of mines to inspect all mines to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of employees. The Employment Relations Tribunal and the Employment Court adjudicate cases of employers charged by the inspectorate with violating minimum wage orders and decide on compensation claims filed by the inspectorate on behalf of workers.

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances including race, culture, ethnic or social origin or place of origin. Thus, on these grounds, protection from discrimination

 

Faith or Belief  https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-report-on-international-religious-freedom/fiji/

Article 4. Religious liberty, as recognised in the Bill of Rights, is a founding principle of the State. Religious belief is personal.  Religion and the State are separate, which means the State and all persons holding public office must treat all religions equally, the State and all persons holding public office must not dictate any religious belief; the State and all persons holding public office must not prefer or advance, by any means, any particular religion, religious denomination, religious belief, or religious practice over another, or over any non-religious belief; and no person shall assert any religious belief as a legal reason to disregard this Constitution or any other law. Article 22 Every person has the right to freedom of religion, conscience and belief. Every person has the right, either individually or in community with others, in private or in public, to manifest and practise their religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching. Every person has the right not to be compelled act in any manner that is contrary to the person's religion or belief; take an oath, or take an oath in a manner, that is contrary to the person's religion or belief; requires the person to express a belief that the person does not hold. Every religious community or denomination, and every cultural or social community, has the right to establish, maintain and manage places of education whether or not it receives financial assistance from the State, provided that the educational institution maintains any standard prescribed by law.  In exercising its rights, a religious community or denomination has the right to provide religious instruction as part of any education that it provides, whether or not it receives financial assistance from the State for the provision of that education. Except with his or her consent or, in the case of a child, the consent of a parent or lawful guardian, a person attending a place of education is not required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend a religious ceremony or observance if the instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion that is not his or her own or if he or she does not hold any religious belief. To the extent that it is necessary, the rights and freedoms set out in this section may be made subject to such limitations prescribed by law, to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons; public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or to prevent public nuisance. Additionally, Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including religion, conscience or opinions or beliefs, and therefore, on these grounds, protection from discrimination.

https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-report-on-international-religious-freedom/fiji/

Article 4. Religious liberty, as recognised in the Bill of Rights, is a founding principle of the State. Religious belief is personal.  Religion and the State are separate, which means the State and all persons holding public office must treat all religions equally, the State and all persons holding public office must not dictate any religious belief; the State and all persons holding public office must not prefer or advance, by any means, any particular religion, religious denomination, religious belief, or religious practice over another, or over any non-religious belief; and no person shall assert any religious belief as a legal reason to disregard this Constitution or any other law. Article 22 Every person has the right to freedom of religion, conscience and belief. Every person has the right, either individually or in community with others, in private or in public, to manifest and practise their religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching. Every person has the right not to be compelled act in any manner that is contrary to the person's religion or belief; take an oath, or take an oath in a manner, that is contrary to the person's religion or belief; requires the person to express a belief that the person does not hold. Every religious community or denomination, and every cultural or social community, has the right to establish, maintain and manage places of education whether or not it receives financial assistance from the State, provided that the educational institution maintains any standard prescribed by law.  In exercising its rights, a religious community or denomination has the right to provide religious instruction as part of any education that it provides, whether or not it receives financial assistance from the State for the provision of that education. Except with his or her consent or, in the case of a child, the consent of a parent or lawful guardian, a person attending a place of education is not required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend a religious ceremony or observance if the instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion that is not his or her own or if he or she does not hold any religious belief. To the extent that it is necessary, the rights and freedoms set out in this section may be made subject to such limitations prescribed by law, to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons; public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or to prevent public nuisance. Additionally, Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including religion, conscience or opinions or beliefs, and therefore, on these grounds, protection from discrimination.

https://www.unicef.org/pacificislands/media/1116/file/Situation-Analysis-of-Children-Fiji.pdf

Article 41 Every child has the right to basic nutrition, clothing, shelter, sanitation and health care; to family care, protection and guidance, which includes the equal responsibility of the child's parents to provide for the child; whether or not the parents are, or have ever been, married to each other; and whether or not the parents are living together, have lived together, or are separated; to be protected from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, any form of violence, inhumane treatment and punishment, and hazardous or exploitative labour.

A 2017 UNICEF report notes that children occupy a central place in Fijian society, and most Fijians traditionally grow up being nurtured and pampered by an extended family group. Traditional, religious and community leaders have strong influence and standing in communities, and both child and adult respondents who participated in the 2008 Child Protection Baseline Survey highlighted community leaders as a source of care and protection for children. However, urbanization has strained extended family and community ties, and the nuclear family is becoming increasingly common. Under the 2018 Act, a worker will be entitled to a minimum of 5 days’ paid family care leave with stipulations.

https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/fiji/

 

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of gender and therefore, on these grounds, protection from discrimination.

However, the most recent US government country report (2018) highlights some of the difficulties experienced by women in Fiji.

Rape and Domestic Violence: The law recognizes rape, including spousal rape, as a crime and provides for a maximum punishment of life imprisonment for rape. The law recognizes spousal rape as a specific offense. Nevertheless, rape (including spousal rape), domestic abuse, incest, and sexual harassment were significant problems. There was a large increase in reports of rape during the year, due in part to greater awareness that spousal rape is a crime.

The law defines domestic violence as a specific offense. Police practice a “no-drop” policy, whereby they are required to pursue investigations of domestic violence cases even if a victim later withdraws the accusation. Nonetheless, women’s organizations reported police did not consistently follow this policy. Courts dismissed some cases of domestic abuse and incest or gave perpetrators light sentences. Traditional and religious practices of reconciliation between aggrieved parties in both indigenous and Indo-Fijian communities were sometimes utilized to mitigate sentences for domestic violence. In some cases, authorities released offenders without a conviction on condition they maintained good behavior.

Available data suggests that sexual abuse of women and girls is also a significant issue in Fiji. A 2013 report by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre found that 16 per cent of women reported experiencing child sexual abuse under the age of 15,371 which is slightly lower than the regional average of 17 per cent for the PICTs for which data are available.372 Of women surveyed who had been sexually abused under the age of 15, 41 per cent were abused more than once, with 16 per cent reporting that they were sexually abused many time.373 For those who first had sex when they were under 15, 46 per cent said it was forced and another 20 percent said it was coerced, with only 35 per cent saying that they wanted to have sex the first time. For women who first had sex when they were aged 15–17, 62 per cent indicated they wanted to do so, and the remainder (38 per cent) were either forced or coerced. Additionally, socio-cultural norms and traditional perceptions around gender roles can act as barriers and bottlenecks to the realization of children and women’s rights in Fiji; traditional gender roles support and facilitate violence against women and girls, and marginalized groups, including children with disabilities, and discourage reporting of such cases, because such violence is accepted but also because it is considered a private matter.

https://www.unicef.org/pacificislands/media/1116/file/Situation-Analysis-of-Children-Fiji.pdf

Discrimination: Women have full rights of inheritance and property ownership by law, but local authorities often excluded them from the decision-making process on disposition of indigenous communal land, which constituted more than 80 percent of all land. Women have the right to a share in the distribution of indigenous land lease proceeds, but authorities seldom recognized this right. Women have the same rights and status as men under family law and in the judicial system. Nonetheless, women and children had difficulty receiving protection orders enforced by police in domestic violence cases.

Although the law prohibits gender-based discrimination and requires equal pay for equal work, employers generally paid women less than men for similar work.

 

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including gender identity and expression, therefore on these grounds, protection from discrimination.

https://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/fiji

Fiji is classified as a low HIV prevalence country. As estimated by UNAIDS in the latest data hub for Asia and the Pacific, the number of people estimated to be living with HIV in Fiji in 2018 is less than 1,000, and the prevalence rate for adults between the ages of 15-49 years old is at approximately 0.1%.2 

Article 13 Every person has the right to be secure against unreasonable search of his or her person or property and against unreasonable seizure of his or her property. Search or seizure is not permissible otherwise than under the authority of the law. Article 27 Freedom form arbitrary acquisition of property; Every person has the right not to be deprived of property by the State other than in accordance with a written law and no law may permit arbitrary acquisition or expropriation of any interest in any property. Article 35 Right to housing and sanitation; the State must take reasonable measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of the right of every person to accessible and adequate housing and sanitation. Article 39 Freedom from arbitrary evictions Every person has the right to freedom from arbitrary evictions from his or her home or to have his or her home demolished, without an order of a court made after considering all the relevant circumstances.  

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including primary language and therefore, on these grounds, protection from discrimination. Article 30 Conversational and contemporary iTaukei and Fiji Hindi languages shall be taught as compulsory subjects in all primary schools.

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including primary language and therefore, on these grounds, protection from discrimination. Article 30 Conversational and contemporary iTaukei and Fiji Hindi languages shall be taught as compulsory subjects in all primary schools.

https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/fiji/

 

The law stipulates that the community, public health, and general health systems provide treatment for persons with mental and intellectual disabilities, although families generally supported persons with such disabilities at home. Institutionalization of persons with more significant mental disabilities was in a single, underfunded public facility.

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of marital status and therefore, on these grounds, protection from discrimination.

Maternity leave (days paid) in Fiji was reported at 98 in 2017, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources. A female worker is entitled to her full normal pay for her first 3 births and half her normal pay for subsequent births. Maternity leave may be taken before or after the delivery of the child.

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including health status, and therefore on these grounds, protection from discrimination.

The law stipulates that the community, public health, and general health systems provide treatment for persons with mental and intellectual disabilities, although families generally supported persons with such disabilities at home. Institutionalization of persons with more significant mental disabilities was in a single, underfunded public facility.

https://www.indexmundi.com/fiji/military_service_age_and_obligation.html

18 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; mandatory retirement at age 55 (2013)

Article 5 All citizens of Fiji shall be known as Fijians. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, all Fijians have equal status and identity, which means that they are equally entitled to all the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship; subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship. Citizenship of Fiji shall only be acquired by birth, registration or naturalisation. Citizens of Fiji may hold multiple citizenship, which means that upon accepting the citizenship of a foreign country, a person remains a citizen of Fiji unless he or she renounces that status; a former citizen of Fiji, who lost that citizenship upon acquiring foreign citizenship, may regain citizenship of Fiji, while retaining that foreign citizenship unless the laws of that foreign country provide otherwise; upon becoming a citizen of Fiji, a foreign person may retain his or her existing citizenship unless the laws of that foreign country provide otherwise. A written law shall prescribe; the conditions upon which citizenship of Fiji may be acquired and the conditions upon which a person may become a citizen of Fiji; procedures relating to the making of applications for citizenship by registration or naturalisation; conditions relating to the right to enter and reside in Fiji; provisions for the prevention of statelessness; rules for the calculation of periods of a person's lawful presence in Fiji for the purpose of determining citizenship; provisions relating to the renunciation and deprivation of citizenship; and such other matters as are necessary to regulate the granting of citizenship.

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, gender identity and expression and therefore, on these grounds, protection from discrimination.

Under the 2018 Employment Relations Act, a male worker will be entitled to 5 days’ paid paternity leave if his partner (this includes a spouse or de facto partner) is entitled to maternity leave under the Act, or would have been entitled to such leave if she were employed. The legislation says that a male worker is only entitled if he; has completed more than 3 months’ continuous service with the same employer;  ‘is or is to be a primary caregiver for his child’, and produces to his employer a certificate from a registered medical practitioner specifying the possible date of birth of his child. As with maternity leave, a worker is entitled on paternity leave days to full normal pay for the first 3 births, and half his normal pay for subsequent births. Paternity leave days can be taken at any time during the 3-month periods before and after the child’s birth.

http://www.pension-watch.net/country-fact-file/fiji

 

Fiji has a Social Pension Scheme which was set up in 2013. The scheme provides pensions for persons aged 66 years and over who don't have any form of income or pension or have never been beneficiaries of a superannuation scheme.

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances including, place of origin, birth, and therefore, on these grounds, protection from discrimination. 

Article 23 Every citizen has the freedom to make political choices, and the right to form or join a political party; participate in the activities of, or recruit members for, a political party; and campaign for a political party, candidate or cause.  

https://www.unicef.org/pacificislands/media/821/file/Fiji.pdf

 

WHO 2017 estimates Fiji had a maternity mortality ration of 34 deaths per 100,000 live births and that it has been gradually descending.

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including race, culture, ethnic or social origin, colour, religion, conscience, or opinions or beliefs, and therefore on these grounds, protection from discrimination.

There is no provision in the Constitution, but rights are underpinned by legislation; The Fiji Immigration Act 2003.  As such, Fiji offers a strong legislative framework for those who seek protection, granting asylum and refugee status and providing support.

 

https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-report-on-international-religious-freedom/fiji/

Article 4. Religious liberty, as recognised in the Bill of Rights, is a founding principle of the State. Religious belief is personal.  Religion and the State are separate, which means the State and all persons holding public office must treat all religions equally, the State and all persons holding public office must not dictate any religious belief; the State and all persons holding public office must not prefer or advance, by any means, any particular religion, religious denomination, religious belief, or religious practice over another, or over any non-religious belief; and no person shall assert any religious belief as a legal reason to disregard this Constitution or any other law. Article 22 Every person has the right to freedom of religion, conscience and belief. Every person has the right, either individually or in community with others, in private or in public, to manifest and practise their religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching. Every person has the right not to be compelled act in any manner that is contrary to the person's religion or belief; take an oath, or take an oath in a manner, that is contrary to the person's religion or belief; requires the person to express a belief that the person does not hold. Every religious community or denomination, and every cultural or social community, has the right to establish, maintain and manage places of education whether or not it receives financial assistance from the State, provided that the educational institution maintains any standard prescribed by law.  In exercising its rights, a religious community or denomination has the right to provide religious instruction as part of any education that it provides, whether or not it receives financial assistance from the State for the provision of that education. Except with his or her consent or, in the case of a child, the consent of a parent or lawful guardian, a person attending a place of education is not required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend a religious ceremony or observance if the instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion that is not his or her own or if he or she does not hold any religious belief. To the extent that it is necessary, the rights and freedoms set out in this section may be made subject to such limitations prescribed by law, to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons; public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or to prevent public nuisance. Additionally, Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including religion, conscience, opinions or beliefs. Therefore, on these grounds, protection from discrimination.

https://tradingeconomics.com/fiji/legislation-specifically-addresses-sexual-harassment-1-yes-0-no-wb-data.html

The law prohibits sexual harassment, and the government used criminal law against “indecent assaults on females,” which prohibits offending the modesty of women, to prosecute sexual harassment cases. Nevertheless, there are still reports of harassment in public places, schools and employment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Fiji

 

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including sexual orientation and therefore, on these grounds, protection from discrimination.

 

However, A majority of citizens affiliate with Methodist or Catholic denominations, which traditionally view same-sex sexuality and transgender identities negatively. The third largest religious group, about 6% of the population, are Muslim, who also tend to view homosexuality and cross-dressing as sinful behavior that needs to be fixed. While other, generally more tolerant, religious traditions do exist in Fiji they tend to have smaller memberships. These prevailing religious mores tend to influence the status of LGBT people within society. Social mores regarding sexual orientation and gender identity tend to be conservative, with little public support for LGBT rights

Furthermore, lack of trust in the police due to possible harassment likely discourages LGBT people and couples from reporting anti-gay violence or hateful discrimination. Nevertheless, reports of hate crimes against LGBT people in Fiji are rare.

Article 26 A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly on the grounds of his or her actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including social or health status and therefore, on these grounds, protection from discrimination.

Article 20 Every person has the right to fair employment practices, including humane treatment and proper working conditions. Every worker has the right to form or join a trade union and participate in its activities and programmes. Every employer has the right to form or join an employer's' organisation, and to participate in its activities and programmes. Trade unions and employers have the right to bargain collectively.