Solomon Islands became member of the United Nations in 1978. They immediately started to consider the big problem of children’s education and their rights, but also women’s rights to prevent violence and to create new opportunities for them.Since Solomon Islands entered in the UN, they have received lots of recommendations about different themes, many of them are still not solved.
For example, in Solomon Islands there are not laws to protect children from violence and to state the right of education. In addition, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) stated that a relatively large number of children, especially girls, do not go to school at all because there are too few schools. Later, also UNICEF stated that in Solomon Islands the girls attending secondary education are less than boys.
The country was a ratified and signedor was a signatory to a lot ofthe following human rights instruments, including but not limited to, The Convention on The Rights of the Child (1995) and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (2009). Regarding the latter, it is important to mention that in Solomon Islands conflicts are very frequent (for example, there was a very cruel civil war from 1998 to 2003) and therefore the possibility of education becomes a bigger issue. Solomon Islands’ Government has recognized that access to education is a human right only recently.
It recognizes the huge challenge to provide quality education accessible and affordable, especially to reduce the big gap in the secondary education that is less accessible for girls than for boys. Since 2005, the government implemented the Community High School initiative. These Communities are being built closer to or inside villages and communities, purposely to address the issue of gender balance, thus allowing girls to reach safely schools. At the beginning of 2009 the government has implemented the Free-Fee Basic Education (FFBE) policy, purposely to solve the difficulty which parents faced in paying school fees: this was an excuse often used for not sending children to schools by some parents, especially in the rural areas. In 2010 the government adopted a National Children Policy with National Plan of Action, that is based on six strategic points: a) protection; b) development; c) survival; d) participation; e) planning; and f) education.