Part 1: Political and Human Rights Conditions
The Solomon Islands is a constitutional multiparty parliamentary democracy with a population of approximately 566,000. Parliamentary elections held in April 2006 were considered generally free and fair, but allegations of vote buying by the People's Republic of China and Taiwan led to generalized ethnic violence in the following month. Following a vote of no confidence in December 2007, the Solomon Islands Parliament elected a new Prime Minister in a peaceful manner and in line with its constitution. The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, a multinational police-centered force organized by Australia, arrived in the country in 2003 at the government's invitation to assist in restoring law and order and rebuilding the country's institutions following a period of violent conflict between the Malaita and Guadalcanal provinces from 1998 to 2003. The government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, but there were problems in some areas, including lengthy pretrial detention, government corruption, and violence and discrimination against women and minorities.
Part 2: U.S. Government Democracy Objectives
Promotion of democratic principles, practices, values, and human rights is the guiding theme of U.S. Government engagement in the country.
Part 3: Supporting Top Priorities and Other Aspects of Human Rights and Democratic Governance
The U.S. Government supports multilateral programs to rebuild failed police and government institutions. The U.S. Government actively advocates for the rights of and political participation of women through the International Women of Courage Award Program and International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Recognizing women leaders provides women with strong role models and allows them to envision a future that includes women in high-level positions. The IVLP participants attended a program on disasters and pandemics.
The U.S. Government also focuses significant attention on promoting human and civil rights, including the rights of women and minorities, and encourages a free and fair political process. U.S. officials collaborated with local universities, NGOs, and think tanks to make topical presentations throughout the nation on these issues.