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Kiribati

Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Although physical conditions in prisons were not problematic, commingling of convicted prisoners, pretrial detainees, and juvenile offenders remained a problem. As of September the two female prisoners were kept separately from male prisoners.

Physical Conditions: In practice convicted prisoners, pretrial detainees not granted bail, and juvenile offenders ages 17 to 18 were all held together, although there were no juvenile offenders held as of September. Children younger than age 16 were usually not incarcerated. Juveniles ages 16 to 17 were generally detained no longer than one month, although for more serious offenses, such as murder, they could be held in custody longer. Community-service-based sentences provided alternatives to incarceration for juvenile offenders.

Administration: Although authorities permit complaints by inmates about inhuman conditions, authorities did not report receiving any such complaints or undertake any investigations in the year to September.

Independent Monitoring: The government permits monitoring visits by independent human rights observers, but there were no reported visits during the year.

Political Prisoners and Detainees

There were no reports of political prisoners or detainees.

Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies

Individuals and organizations may seek civil remedies for human rights violations from domestic courts.

Section 6. Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons

Persons with Disabilities

There are no overall legal protections for persons with disabilities. The law prohibits discrimination in employment against persons with disabilities. It does not define disability but prescribes a fine for anyone found guilty of the offense, although the law was not enforced.

Public infrastructure and essential services did not meet the needs of persons with disabilities. Access to buildings, communications, and information for persons with disabilities is not mandated, and there were no specific accommodations for persons with disabilities.

Most children with disabilities did not have access to education. Seven schools in the outer islands, the teacher’s college, and the Ministry of Education headquarters were accessible for children and staff with physical disabilities.

The Ministry of Women, Youth, and Social Affairs is responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.

Nauru

Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

There were no significant reports regarding prison conditions that raised human rights concerns.

Physical Conditions: There were no major concerns in prisons and detention centers regarding physical conditions or prisoner abuse.

Administration: There were no reports that authorities failed to conduct proper investigations of credible allegations of mistreatment.

Independent Monitoring: The government permits prison and detention center monitoring visits by independent human rights observers. There were no reports that such visits occurred before COVID-related travel restrictions were implemented in March.

Political Prisoners and Detainees

There were no reports of political prisoners or detainees.

Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies

The judiciary generally functioned in an independent and impartial manner in civil matters. Individuals or organizations have access to the court to bring lawsuits seeking damages for, or cessation of, human rights violations.

Section 6. Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons

Persons with Disabilities

The law does not specifically prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities. No legislation mandates services for persons with disabilities or access to public buildings. Although the government has installed mobility ramps in some public buildings, many buildings were not accessible. The Department of Education has a special education adviser who is responsible for education for students with disabilities and teachers provided classes for a small group of students with disabilities.

The Department of Justice is responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. The law grants some legal protections for persons with mental disabilities. There were no reports of discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, but social stigma likely led to decreased opportunities for employment.

Palau

Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Prison and detention center conditions were inadequate and did not meet the international standards.

Physical Conditions: The country’s only jail, in Koror, with a capacity of 58, held 86 prisoners as of September; 82 were men. There are separate prison cells for male and female prisoners.

Administration: There were no reports of mistreatment. The Office of the Ombudsman, vacant since 2016, is not independent.

Independent Monitoring: There were no requests for human rights observers to visit prisons.

Political Prisoners and Detainees

There were no reports of political prisoners or detainees.

Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies

Individuals or organizations may seek civil remedies for human rights violations through domestic courts.

Section 6. Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons

Persons with Disabilities

The constitution and law prohibit discrimination against persons with physical or mental disabilities. The law covers persons with mental and physical disabilities, and the government enforced these acts. The law includes a provision for limited access to government buildings for persons with disabilities, and the government generally enforced this provision. Most public schools had programs to address the education needs of students with disabilities that included mainstreaming them with other students. Issues regarding persons with disabilities are coordinated with the Ministry of Education as well as the Ministry of Health. Nongovernmental organizations like Omekesang and Palau Parent Network also collaborate with these ministries in providing additional assistance to persons with disabilities.

Qualified disabled adults are able to vote. An authorized representative of the voter needs to file a request by the disabled voter for an absentee ballot to enable an authorized person from the Election Commission to go to the voter’s home and take his or her vote with a witness.

Tuvalu

Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

There were no significant reports regarding prison or detention center conditions that raised human rights concerns.

Physical Conditions: There were no major concerns in prisons and detention centers regarding physical conditions or inmate abuse.

Administration: The ombudsperson can act on behalf of prisoners and detainees and respond to prisoner complaints. The government did not investigate or monitor prison conditions and did not receive any complaints or allegations of inhuman conditions.

Independent Monitoring: The government permits visits by independent human rights observers, but there were no reported visits during the year.

Political Prisoners and Detainees

There were no reports of political prisoners or detainees.

Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies

Individuals and organizations may seek civil remedies for human rights violations through domestic courts.

Section 6. Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons

Persons with Disabilities

The law does not specifically prohibit discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities. Government services to address the specific needs of persons with disabilities were very limited. There were no mandated building accessibility provisions for persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities had limited access to information and communications, including participation in civic life.

A 2018 government report found that abuse and discrimination against persons with disabilities was prevalent, and women with disabilities were particularly vulnerable to abuse. There were no reports of investigations or punishment by the government for violence and abuses against persons with disabilities, but societal norms may limit the reporting of such incidents particularly against women and girls with disabilities.

Children with disabilities reportedly had lower school attendance rates at all levels than other children. Some students with disabilities attended public primary schools both in Funafuti and in the outer islands. Parents decide which school a child with disabilities attends after consultation with an adviser from the Fusi Alofa Association, a disabilities-focused NGO.

HIV and AIDS Social Stigma

Persons with HIV/AIDS faced some societal and employment discrimination. The government and NGOs cooperated to inform the public regarding HIV/AIDS and to counter discrimination.

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future