U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - Kiribati
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||30 January 1998|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - Kiribati, 30 January 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa4730.html [accessed 18 December 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January 30, 1998.
KIRIBATIKiribati comprises some 78,400 people occupying 33 small islands widely scattered across 3.5 million square kilometers of the central Pacific. The population is primarily Micronesian, with a significant component of Polynesian origin. Kiribati gained full independence from the United Kingdom in 1979 and became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations. It has a popularly elected president and a legislative assembly with 39 members elected by universal adult suffrage, and 2 who are members by virtue of their office. The judiciary is independent. A police force of about 250 personnel is effectively controlled by civilian authority. Economic activity consists primarily of subsistence agriculture and fishing. The islands' isolation and meager resources, including poor soil and limited arable land, severely limit prospects for economic development. Society is egalitarian, democratic, and respectful of human rights. There were no reports of specific human rights abuses, but in the traditional culture women occupy a subordinate role with limited job opportunities.