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Kiribati

Population size:

117,606 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

UN Violence against women reports Women who have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime:68 % Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months: 36 % Lifetime Non-Partner Sexual Violence against women: 10% [2]

More than 68 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 years who had been in a partnership had experienced physical or sexual violence. [3]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research on male victims or other gender identities.


Current law and policy:

Kiribati did not join the COMMIT Initiative. Nevertheless, it has shown some commitment to  engaging with the issue of domestic violence. However, Kiribati faces numbers other issues that limit the government’s ability to address domestic violence issues effectively. 

In 2004, Kiribati ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Since then Kiribati has introduced a number of measures to eliminate discrimination and violence against women.

Since this, Kiribati has introduced the Family Peace Act 2014 with criminalised Domestic Violence and provided protection orders to family members. It also enacted the Children, Young People and Family Welfare Act in 2013 to provide protection services to girls facing exploitation and abuse. In 2017, the Penal Code was amended to expand the definition of sexual offences and The Gender Equality and Women’s Development Policy 2019-22 is prioritising the elimination of sexual and gender-based violence among other related issues.

The primary focus of efforts in Kiribati is on primary prevention, and this is being affected through projects such as the Strengthening Peaceful Villages Project which aims to mobilise citizens to work together to eliminate violence in their communities.

However, Kiribati is also struggling with issues such as climate change, overpopulation and cultural resistance, as well as having a lack of capacity and resources to effect change at the rate it would like to.

The government is now working to raise awareness of gender equality and women’s rights through programmes such as the Kiribati Male Behavioural Change Programme, in its predominately patriarchal society. Additionally, Kiribati has to address challenges from climate change and natural disasters, before it can fully meet the goals of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Finally, Kiribati is lacking the capacity and resources to achieve its goals and has continued to welcome donor support. Its geography also makes providing centralised services difficult, and outreach projects produce additional costs.  All these issues limit the governments abilities to act, in spite of its best i