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The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has had a longstanding interest in the rights of women and girls, as well as a commitment to ensuring the promotion of human rights in the Asia-Pacific region. This report is the latest in a series which has considered evidence relating to these issues.

Noting the challenges presented by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on evidence gathering, the Committee’s report makes broad observations on key issues and notes that some evidence is effectively a snapshot of moments in time.

Report structure:

  • Chapter 2 discusses the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and disaster readiness for the impacts of climate change; two factors that were commonly raised by inquiry participants.
  • Chapter 3 explores the role of Pacific island civil society groups in responding practically to domestic, family and sexual violence, and other human rights issues such as gender equality; and the key figures and groups which advance the human rights of women and girls in the Pacific context.
  • Chapter 4 discusses the engagement of these groups with Australia’s Pacific Step-up.
  • Chapter 5 examines the effectiveness of Australian overseas development assistance programs in supporting human rights of women and girls in the Pacific islands.
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