Vanuatu is a multiparty parliamentary democracy with a freely elected government. Observers considered the March 2020 parliamentary election generally free and fair. Parliament elected Bob Loughman as prime minister. The president is head of state. Parliament elected Tallis Obed Moses president in 2017.
The national police maintain internal security. The Vanuatu Mobile Force, a paramilitary police unit, is responsible for external security but also has some domestic security responsibilities. Both agencies report to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces. Members of the security forces were not reported to have committed abuses.
Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: the existence of criminal libel laws; serious government corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for gender-based violence; and minimal progress in reducing the worst forms of child labor.
The government made efforts to prosecute and punish human rights abuses and corruption by officials. Impunity for human rights abuses was not a significant problem. There was sometimes impunity for corruption.