All rights of every Fijian citizen is guaranteed under the Constitution and this is complemented by the establishment of the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa while opening the Gender lens to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights today at the Holiday Inn in Suva.
The aim of the one day workshop is to develop guidance to assist both state and Business enterprises with practical recommendation for the protection of women rights in the business context in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Minister Vuniwaqa said Fiji’s commitment in this regard has been one of Government’s top priorities as witnessed by Fiji’s ratification in 2014 of the UN Convention against Torture, Fiji’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“The universality of rights binds humanity together, across all our diversities in the conviction that born we all are equal in dignity and rights. However, Violence and discrimination against women, was listed as one of the leading human rights violations in the Fiji 2016 Human Rights Report,” Minister Vuniwaqa said.
“This was also highlighted by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights after his recent visit to Fiji. Initiatives like today’s stakeholder consultation are crucial to eliminating the various forms of violation of women’s human rights in our country, from the home to the workplace.”
Minister Vuniwaqa added that the application of a Gender Lens to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights which underlie the dialogue that will follow, sits on seven empowering principles for women -which organisations can use to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Deputy Representative of Office of the United Nations High Commission of Human Rights Patrick Marega Castellan said although gender is a broad concept, the project focuses on the intersection of business with human rights and its impact on women.
“The project seeks to support and complement broader efforts to combat gender discrimination including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” Castellan said.