Ministry of Justice & Community Services


Vanuatu became a signatory to The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in September 1990, at a UN General Assembly. The Republic of Vanuatu was represented by Hon. Father Walter Lini, and Hon. Joe Natuman.

In 1992, the Vanuatu Government ratified the UNCRC by an Act of Parliament. The UNCRC came into effect in Vanuatu in 1993. The CRC defines a "Child and a Young Person" as any person under the age of 18 years.

1n 1997, Vanuatu submitted its initial report to the United Nations. View below the report, concluding observation and summary

  1. Vanuatu Initial CRC Report due in 1995
  2. Vanuatu Concluding Observations
  3. Summary records. CRC/C/SR.566.04.Nov.1999
  4. Summary records. CRC/C/SR.567.01.Oct.1999
  5. Summary records. CRC/C/SR.586.18.Nov.1999

In September of 2005, Vanuatu became a signatory to the two Optional Protocol to the CRC.

The CRC-OP-AC was ratified in the year 2006 and the Commencement date of this Act was on the 05/02/2007. The CRC-OP-SC was ratified in the year 2006 and the Commencement date of the Ratification Act was on the 05/02/2007.

The Child Desk Office was established in 2009. Similarly like all other Human Rights Conventions Desks, it was set up as a result of long time lobbying by relevant Government Departments, NGOs and Civil Society Organization.


Invest in Children now to ensure Communities, Churches and the Nation at large can enjoy a Peaceful and rewarding life now so that Future Generation of Ni – Vanuatu will have a Healthy, Happy and Productive life.


Children are our future but their concerns and issues are current and paramount. Their best interests and rights are to be protected regardless of age gender, religion, ethnicity, disability, health status and cultural background. Children have the right to survive, develop, participate and be protected. It is a communal mission to ensure that these rights are acknowledged and promoted, so that our children will grow in safe homes to become responsible members of the Vanuatu society.


The main functions of the Desk are as follows;

  • Developing or strengthening of national and regional action plans for children including a set of specific time-bound and measurable goals and targets, with wide involvement of civil society, including non – governmental organizations (NGOs) and Children;
  • Strengthening national planning, coordination, implementation and resource allocation for children and integrating the intergrading the international goals of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into national governmental plans, policies, strategies and programmes;
  • Developing or strengthening a system of Protection of Children and support community efforts to protect children.
  • Establishing or strengthening national bodies for the promotion and protection of children's rights; and
  • Regular monitoring of the situation of children at the national level, and periodic reviews of progress toward the fulfilment of the global agenda and declaration.


  • Principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
  1. Non-Discrimination :( Article 2)
  2. Best Interest of the Child: (Article 3)
  3. Children's Right to Survival and Development: (Article 6)
  4. Participation: (Various articles).


  • The CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict (OPAC)
  • The CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children (OPSC)
  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child


  1. National Children's Policy Review Report (2007 – 2011)
  2. Strategy for the Justice and Community Services Sector (2014 – 2017)
  3. Other government policies that relate to Children's issues

The principal legal instruments relating to Child Justice are;
  1. The Constitution of the Republic of Vanuatu
  2. The Penal Code


  • Legal Framework
  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Basic Health and Nutrition
  • Environment
  • Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances and Children with Disabilities
  • Monitoring and Review of Progress


Child Desk Direct Stakeholders includes the following but is not limited to;

  1. Prime Minister's Office
  2. Ministry of Education
  3. Ministry of Health
  4. Vanuatu Police
  5. State Law Office
  6. Department of Correctional Services
  7. Department of Civil Registry
  8. Department of Statistics
  9. Department of Youth & Sports
  10. Department of Women's Affairs
  11. Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs
  12. Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC)
  13. Wan Smol Bag
  14. Vanuatu Cultural Centre
  15. Live & Learn Enivronmental Education
  16. Save the Children
  17. World Vision International
  18. Vanuatu Women 's Centre
  19. Vanuatu Eli Jaelhud Association
  20. AusAID Law and Justice Program
  21. United Nations Children's Fund


The Child Desk Office oversees the Coordination of the two following programmes;

  1. The Child Rights Programme
  2. The Child Protection Programme

1.The Child Rights Programme

  1. Completion and Submission of the National Children's Policy Review Report (2007 - 2011)
  2. Review the current members of the National Children's Committee (NCC)
  3. Completion and Submission of the Vanuatu Second, Third and Fourth UNCRC Periodic Reports to UNCRC Committee (1988 – 2012)
  4. Completion and Submission of the Vanuatu Initial CRC – Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict report to UNCRC Committee (2008 – 2012)
  5. Completion and Submission of the Vanuatu Initial CRC – Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Pornography and Child Prostitution report to UNCRC Committee (2008 – 2012)
  6. Coordination of Annual National Children's Day Events on 24th July

2.The Child Protection Programme

  1. Coordination of the National Child Protection Working Group (NCPWG)
  2. Child Protection Pilot in Tafea Province
    • Loanapkamei Pilot site, West Tanna
    • Port Narvin Pilot site, North Erromango
  3. Provincial Visits and Monitoring of Pilot sites and progress
  4. Progress developments of a National Child Protection Framework


The Desk has a total of 4 Officers. 1 Permanent Officer and 3 Officers on Contract.

Post Title
 Permanent Officer  Contract Officers
 1  Child Rights Officer  1    Port Vila, Efate
 2  Communications & Logistics Officer    1  Port Vila, Efate
 3  Child Protection Project Officers    1  Loanapkamei,Lenakel, Tanna
 4   Child Protection Project Officers    1 Port Narvin, Erromango
   Sub Total  1  3  

3.Location of Office

TAFEA Provincial Offices

Child Protection Pilot Program 
Department of Women's Affairs Office 
Lenakel Port Narvin
Tanna Erromango

Child Protection Pilot Program
North Erromango Area Council Office
Port Narvin

Port Vila Office
Ministry of Justice and Community Services
Namba 2 area
Port Vila
Telephone; (678) Tel: +678 33615

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