Freedom in the World
Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
A Truth and Reconciliation Commission was launched in April 2009 to investigate and address human rights violations committed during ethnic violence that lasted from 1998 to 2003. Throughout the year, Prime Minister Derek Sikua continued efforts to improve governance and political stability, including the creation of an Anti-Corruption Taskforce in November.
In May, the government announced an indefinite freeze on hiring and the creation of new positions in public services due to a significant shortfall in the budget. The country’s economic crisis, fueled by the global recession, has increased unemployment, and Sikua openly stated in October that idle youths are a threat to public safety.
The Solomon Islands are not an electoral democracy. Recent elections, including the 2006 parliamentary elections, have been marred by allegations of fraud. A governor-general, appointed on the advice of Parliament for a five-year term, represents the British monarch as head of state. Members of the 50-seat, unicameral National Parliament are elected for four-year terms. A parliamentary majority elects the prime minister, and the cabinet is appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the prime minister.
Discrimination limits the economic and political roles of women. Rape and other forms of abuse against women and girls are widespread. While rape is illegal, no law prohibits domestic violence.