United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (VAW), Rashida Manjoo, has arrived in the Solomon Islands over the weekend.

This is the first visit of the independent expert on violence against women, its causes and consequences, to the country.

"Violence against women is the most pervasive human rights violation in the world. It hinders women's full enjoyment of all their fundamental rights and freedoms," said the human rights expert who is visiting Solomon Islands at the invitation of the Government.

"During my mission I will meet with national stakeholders involved in fighting all aspects related to violence against women, with a view to assessing the phenomenon in the country."

Ms. Manjoo's mandate on violence against women, its causes and consequences includes violence in the family, both domestic violence and culturally justified practices that are violent to or subordinate women; violence in the community; violence that is perpetrated or condoned by the State; and violence in the transnational sphere, including violence against migrant women.

The Special Rapporteur will hold meetings with government authorities and representatives of civil society. The expert will also visit shelters and detention centres, and meet with individual victims of gender-based violence.

The independent expert will hold a press conference at the end of her visit at the Conference Room of the United Nations Development Programme, at the City Centre Building, Mendana Avenue, in Honiara, on Friday 16 March at 1330h.

Based on the information obtained during the mission, the Special Rapporteur will present a report with her final findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council.