Vanuatu Parliament

Vanuatu Women's Council says life should apply to sex with under 16s

RNZ reports Parliament is due to soon debate a new law which proposes to introduce a life sentence for sex with children aged under 13.

But National Council of Women Executive Director Leiasmanu Cullwick said the age should be higher.

"Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen they are still children as far as we are concerned, and very vulnerable, the trauma that is inflicted on these children is immense," said Leiasmanu Cullwick.

Ms Cullwick said they are sad they were not consulted about the new legislation but believed there was still a chance the age limit can be amended.

Extraordinary session of Vanuatu parliament begins

Uri Warawara of the Graon mo Jastis Party won the recent by-election for the Malo Aore seat vacated when Havo Moli died in February.

Mr Warawara's victory gives the GJP eight MPs in the 52-seat parliament.

According to the Vanuatu parliament's official website, only the Union for Moderates has more MPs with nine.

The extraordinary session is expected to debate up to eleven bills including the Right to Information Act.

There are also amendments to the Penal Code, the Citizenship and Immigration Acts up for debate.

Photo: RNZI/ Walter Zweifel

Calls in Vanuatu for 20 seats for women

RNZI reports Prime Minister Charlot Salwai introduced bills for 25 constitutional changes on Thursday, among them a bill to allow for reserved seats for women in Parliament.

The bill would ultimately go to a public referendum.

The chair of Women Against Crime and Corruption, Jenny Ligo, says people are afraid of breaking kastom and culture, but women should be a part of the decision making process at a national level.

Extra ordinary sitting of Vanuatu Parliament on Monday

Notices sent to all members of parliament enlisted 12 bills for discussion in this session, most of which are amendments to the existing legislations.