Pacific Island Forum Briefing

The PPDVP was invited to provide a briefing paper to the Pacific Island Forum members at a security meeting in June 2009.  The meeting strongly commended the activities of the PPDVP and encouraged broadening of the activities of the PPDVP to those forum member countries where the PPDVP is not yet active.  The text of the briefing is below.

4th May 2009 

Purpose of Paper

1.  To outline to the Committee the activities and work programmes of  the  Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme (PPDVP).

Background and Status of the Programme

2.   The Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme (PPDVP) is a tripartite partnership between New Zealand Aid (NZAid), the Pacific Island Chiefs of Police (PICP) and the New Zealand Police (NZP).  The Programme has a long term vision of achieving a “Safer Pacific free from Domestic Violence.”  The Programme combines the ongoing development programmes that NZAid has in the Pacific and the commitment of Pacific Chiefs of Police to reducing discrimination and violence against women.  It recognises the damage and costs of domestic violence to the Pacific and the combination with the specific expertise that the New Zealand Police provide in terms of developing systems, processes and training around responding to domestic violence.

3.  The Programme operates at two levels.  A regional component focuses on developing a common and consistent understanding and approach in relation to domestic violence issues amongst Pacific Police agencies and linked organizations. An in country component focuses on working more intensively with five Pacific counties Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu.

 4.  The main aim of the programme is to build the capacity of law enforcement to prevent and respond effectively to domestic violence.  Other key goals include building relationships and partnerships with NGO’s and Government departments have a common understanding and approach to responding to Domestic Violence by working to improve the in country policy, legislative, partnership, leadership, governance and wider social environments influencing the prevalence and effects of domestic violence.

 5.  The core delivery mechanism is through New Zealand Police members who are used as “mentors” to support the participating countries.  The mentors spend up to six weeks annually in “their” country.  These mentors are drawn from a range of NZ Police skills including domestic violence, training, planning and administration, child abuse investigations, and Family Safety Teams.

 6.  The PPDVP commenced with a planning period in 2005. The delivery of in country programmes commenced in 2006. The programme is funded to 30th June 2011.

Outline of Programme Activities

 7.  The PPDVP operates three work streams.  The first is a Regional activity while the others are focussed on In Country activities.  The primary programme delivery is to the five “Participating Countries” of Samoa, Tonga, Cooks Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu who each receive targeted and specific in country support at a high level of activities.  Nauru, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Niue and Tokelau are “linked countries” who receive a lower level of support.  The remaining members of the PICP receive limited “one off support” and participate in regional activities and other programmes on a case by case basis.

   The specific components of the PPDVP are:

 i.    To increase Pacific Police capacity across the region to prevent/respond effectively to domestic violence and to develop and maintain effective partnerships through regionally coordinated programmes

 ii.    To increase Police capacity in the “participating countries” of Samoa, Tonga, Cooks Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu to prevent/respond effectively to domestic violence through national level programmes.

iii.    To develop and maintain effective partnerships between Police and relevant government agencies, NGOs, churches, community leaders/organisations to prevent/respond effectively to domestic violence in the participating countries.

iv.   To support the development of appropriate legislation on domestic violence and training for the judiciary/legal profession in the participating countries..

v.   To support development of appropriate national policy on domestic violence and incorporation of appropriate actions in national development plans, in the participating countries.  

 Participating Countries Activities

 8.  The PPDVP has an agreement with each of the participating police services for the provision of direct assistance to the Police Service in the country to develop and maintain their capability to respond effectively to domestic violence incidents and crimes.

 9.  These countries each have a PPDVP Mentor assigned to them.

10.  Each country has developed their response to domestic violence to meet their own needs and style of policing in their own way.  Some have formed dedicated investigative units, while others have established national coordinators who oversee the general activities of the police in respect of domestic violence cases and response to them.

 11.  While the emphasis is on improving police capability, this includes having the police work in a multi agency environment and alongside other services, and to work with the various Non Government Organisations, especially women’s support groups, who have operated in the countries for many years.

 12.  Specific Family Protection and Domestic Violence legislation is in place in Vanuatu.  The PPDVP is supporting the Samoan Attorney Generals Office and the Ministry of Women, Community & Social Development, through providing payment for a local legal drafter, to develop draft Family Safety legislation.  The blend of the Samoan legislation and the Vanuatu legislation will provide useful examples and models for other legislative development across the region.

 13.  A key factor in ensuring the sustainability of the PPDVP activities, and the take up of policies, processes and support mechanisms in each country, is the establishment of a National Committee on Domestic Violence, at both a policy level within Government and at a community level.  The Tongan Committee is in place and the Samoa wider Gender Based Violence Committee will serve as the conduit for this national policy role.  The PPDVP’s partnership with the new Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) programme – Changing Laws: Protecting Women (referred to later) will provide a robust and sustainable process to advance the development of national DV policies and appropriate local legislation.

Linked Countries Activities

 14.  The Linked Countries receive a lower level of support, which is specifically targeted to their identified needs. Each participating country receives at least an in country support visit every twelve months.

 15.  Support to these countries includes in country training programmes; attachment of suitable staff to other Participating Countries; and secondments of staff to New Zealand Police domestic violence teams. 

 16. The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force has a full time adviser from the New Zealand Police contingent in RAMSI PPF who works alongside their domestic violence unit.

 Other Regional Support and Activities

 17.  The PICP entered into a Declaration of Partnership with the PPDVP in 2007.  This allows other PICP members to make specific requests for assistance to the PPDVP.

 18.  The PPDVP is assessing how it may work with the Police Services in Palau, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands, following a request under the Declaration.  While this response will of necessity be at a somewhat restricted level because of the need to work within the existing resources of the PPDVP, elements of the assistance provided to both the Participating and Linked Countries will be utilised.  This will allow specific assistance to be provided to these countries in the 2009 – 2010 fiscal period.

Linkages to other Regional Programmes

 19.  The Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) have received funding from the UN Trust Fund in Support of Action to Eliminate Violence Against Women through support for a Pacific Regional three year programme – Changing Laws: Protecting Women. [1] This programme has been matched against the PPDVP by identifying the same “Participating” and “Linked” countries.  This programme will provide in country coordinators in each country and develop national committees on gender based violence.  This new programme, which commenced in 2009, is a key relationship for the PPDVP.

 20.  PPDVP worked closely with the Pacific Regional Policing Initiative (PRPI) in the delivery of assistance to the pacific police services.  This was evident through participating in the annual heads of Training workshops; cooperation and support the forensic medical programme for medical and police staff; and in the delivery of domestic violence training as part of other PRPI activities.  The forensic medical activities have continued in 2009, as an interim programme, while the Government of Australia Pacific Policing Development Programme (PPDP) is being developed.

 Recommendations

 21.  The Committee is invited to:

 (i)  note the activities of the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme (PPDVP)

 (ii)  note the linkages between the PPDVP and the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) programme “Changing Laws: Protecting Women”


[1] The RRRT Project full title is “Changing Laws: Protecting Women: lobbying for legislative change in violence against women / family law in order to enhance protection for women and girls in 6 pacific islands countries.”

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