U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - Micronesia
|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 - Micronesia, 30 January 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa870.html [accessed 22 August 2014]|
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January 30, 1998.
FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIAThe Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is composed of 607 small islands extending over a large area of the central Pacific. Four states--Chuuk (formerly Truk), Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap--make up the federation. The population is estimated at 106,000, mostly of Micronesian origin. The four states were part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and were administered by the United States from 1947 to 1986 pursuant to an agreement with the United Nations. Political legitimacy rests on the popular will expressed by a majority vote through elections in accordance with the Constitution. There are three branches of government: An executive branch led by a president who also serves as head of state, a unicameral legislature elected from the four constituent states, and a judicial system that applies criminal and civil laws and procedures closely paralleling those of the United States. Under the Compact of Free Association, the United States is responsible for defense. The FSM has no security forces of its own, aside from local police and other law enforcement officers, all of whom are firmly under the control of the civil authorities. The economy depends heavily on transfer payments from the United States, fishing, tourism, and subsistence agriculture. The Government generally respects the human rights of its citizens. However, The Government's actions during the year called into question its support for freedom of the press. Traditional customs sustain a value system that distinguishes between people on the basis of social status and sex. There is evidence of some increase in both spousal abuse and child neglect. So far neither the Government nor other organizations have successfully filled the role of the traditional extended family in protecting and supporting its members.