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Call for clarity over the definition of a child in Tonga Featured

'Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki director of the Women and Children Crisis Centre 'Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki director of the Women and Children Crisis Centre

5 June, 2017. A women's advocate says Tonga needs to change its laws to be consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 'Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki is the director of the Women and Children Crisis Centre.

Her call comes after another NGO, the Talitha Project, launched an initiative seeking to repeal a law that allows children between the ages of 15 and 17 to get married if they have parental consent. 

Ms Guttenbeil Likiliki said the government ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1995 and there are still legal inconsistencies.

"You can't vote until you are 21 but compulsory education is until you are 18," she said.

"You can register to be a soldier in the defence services at 16. You can marry at 15 with parental consent and you can be charged for a criminal offence at seven.

"So currently there are huge discrepancies throughout our laws in terms of what actually legally defines a child," Ms Guttenbeil Likiliki said.

Fight for CEDAW ratification still not over in Tonga

Ms Guttenbeil Likiliki also said work was continuing on education around Tonga's adoption of the convention on the elimination of discrimination against women.

In 2015 the government stepped back from ratifying CEDAW, after opponents said it would open the way for same-sex marriage and abortion.

The Women and Children Crisis Centre hasn't given up on pushing for ratification.

Ms Guttenbeil Likiliki said CEDAW has been shelved until at least after the 2018 election.

She said in the meantime the centre was holding male advocacy workshops.

She said the last one included 35 men from churches, government, NGOs, businesses and youth groups.

"We brought them together and we took them through CEDAW, every single article, and we unpacked it and we got them to see.

At the end of the five days we had men crying in the room and admitting that they had no idea that CEDAW was actually beneficial for their daughters, for their sisters and this whole misconception around CEDAW being the legislation of same-sex marriage was thrown out the window," Ms Guttenbeil Likiliki said.

She said they would continue to raise awareness so that the public were more informed.

-RNZI

16 comments

  • Anolo
    Anolo Saturday, 10 June 2017 20:35 Comment Link

    Jo mo Blou sai pee homo kakaha noa'ia ke mahino ko e ongo finematu'a moua. Koe fakatataa mahino ia 'e taha e faikehekehe e fefine mo e tangata 'oku hot vave e kakai fefine hhh. Ko e me'a lahi 'oku tonu kemo mahino'i ka koe tolu pee 'oku fiema'u ke mo mahino'i he fo'i talanoa koeni.
    1) 'Oku faikehekehe lahi e tangata mo e fefine pea he'ikai pea he'ikai lava ketau fetongi eee neongo e feinga e CEDAW ki he equal rights na'e fa'u pee ia 'e sihova ke tau kehekehe. Pea lahi faufaua e faikehekehe 'o fakatatau ki he ngaahi ngafa takitaha, taleniti, physically, psychologically, emotionally, intellectually etc,. Ikai lava kemau fa'e ka mou tamai, mahino atu ee. Tuku e fietatau he'ikai ketau tatau, te mou kei "Ivi'i ai pe pea temau kei faingata'a'ia ai pee ho'omou tangi kai 'Apele heheee.
    2) Ko e fatongia e tangata ke ne malu'i mo tauhi e fefine. 'I Tonga ni 'oku nofo 'a fafine 'i fale ka e 'alu 'a tangata ki 'uta mo tahi ke tauhi e famili he oku nau ivi lahiange. Me'amahino ia pea ko e hoko e palopolema 'i Tonga ko e 'ikai ako'i 'ehe matu'a 'a e tukufakaholo koia. Ko hai 'oku ne akonaki e fanau, 'ikai ko e fa'e (fefine). ko e 'ilonga pee famili ia 'oku 'alunoa'ia e fa'e ka e li'aki e fanau 'oku heee fanau koia pea palopolema leva. Ko 'ete fie huu atu he ha feitu'u ka ko e hange mai 'a ha'a fafine ha fanau tangata pea fielau hono ngaahi kovia kinautolu ko e 'ikai ke mahino kianautolu ko e fefine kinautolu tauhi honau molumalu pea 'ai ke mahu'inga hoto fefine pea 'e faka'apa'apa'i ai kita. Ko e toe 'uhinga pee 'e taha e fakamamahi fefine 'a kakai tangata ko e tupu hake pee he 'atakai pehee, pe ko e laulaunoa fie ngaue popula, kavamalohi, faito'o konatapu, mo'ui ta'elotu. .Me;a ia 'oku huu tonu ai 'a 'Ofa Likiliki ko hono fale'i lelei e kau hee atu ki he crisis centre, fakahinohino'i tanumaki 'a e tafa'aki 'oku fai ai e tonounou not CEDAW education lol.
    3) Na'e 'afio'i lelei pee 'e Tupou 1 'a e si'isi'i 'o e kelekele 'i Tonga he'ikai tofu e kakai, pea 'osi hono fulihi e ngaahi fakakaukau kotoa 'o a'u ki he me'a koeni 'oku mo fiema'u ke kelekele e kakai fefine pea ko e fakapotopoto taha eni ke fe'unga pee mo e me'a oku tau ma'u fe'unga pee kelekele mo e kakai tangata. Ko e 'uhinga. 'e mali e tangata pea 'e ha'u e fefine 'o nofo ai pea hokohoko pehee atu ai pee. Pea na'e malu'i he'e laokelekele 'a Tonga e kakai fefine 'aki e ngaahi kupu ko eni, 'e kei fakalao ki ha 'ofefine ta'emali ke ne nofo he 'api 'o 'ene tamai ki ha 'anemate, ka mate 'a e husepaniti 'e fakauitou e mali ( fefine) 'i he 'api kae 'oua kuo mate. Pea 'oku ngofua ki ha fefine ke ne Lisi (lease) ha fa'ahinga kelekele pee ki ha fa'ahinga lahi pee. Malu ange e kakai fefine ia 'o Tonga ha toe fonua 'i mamani he 'oku ha'i ia he'e konisitutone 'enau totonu fakafe'unga pee ki he 'enau mo'ui. Mahu'inga 'aupito kau fefine ke mou mo'ui topono, heekoaa Jo Mo Blou eeee. Ko ia ai ako pee hisitolia 'o Tonga mo fai ha ki'i bible studies pea 'osi ai pee palema ia. Manatu'i ko e tohitapu ko e tohi manakoa lahi taha ia i 'Iulope mo mamani katoa, not the UN conventions. Pea ko Tonga pee he pasifiki na'e 'ikai kolonia ki ha fonua Hau koe 'uhi ko e poto mo e lotu hotau Tu'i 1. Manatu'i ia Jo, Blou mo 'Ofa Likiliki eee. 'ofa atu kau fefine.

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  • Ului M
    Ului M Saturday, 10 June 2017 16:46 Comment Link

    Kataki Mark, ki'i tuku etau taipe he taimi ni katau ki'i kata. Ta ko e tuotua mai 'oku 'ikai kene mahino'i 'eia e Lao Kelekele ku asi mahino ai oku ngofua pe ke lisi e kelekele e he kakai fefine. Pea e toe lava pe ke pehee oku ikai kene mahino'i eia e sino'i KONIVESIO ae SITOA eee.
    Osi malu'i foki ehe 'etau Lao 'atautolu Mark 'etau fa'e mo e tuofafine. Kapau leva 'oku toe 'iai ha me'a ia 'oku te'eki ke malu'i hange koia oku feinga kiai a Bou mo Jo, ta ko e lesbian pe mo e gay 'oku te'eki ke fakafehokotaki pe malu'i ee ....

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  • Mark Hanson
    Mark Hanson Saturday, 10 June 2017 12:58 Comment Link

    Pea 'ikai fai mo ke lea mai Bou ko si'o fiema'u kelekele. 'Oku lava lelei pe kakai fefine 'o lisi e kelekele pea toki lesisita he'enau fanau tangata. Kapau ko si'o holi ke fakatatau e fefine Tonga ki he Tangata, koe toki fo'i me'a pango malie mo'oni ia. Koe sitepu 'uluaki ia 'ae SITOA ki hono tukuhifo'i e 'ulungaanga fakafonua 'oe Tonga. Koe toenga 'e toki muimui mai. Pea tuku ho'o toe holi 'a'au keke ako'i mautolu he laukonga he 'oku mau lava lelei pe 'o lau e SITOA mo toe lava lelei foki 'o lau moe ngaahi vahavaha'a laine. Kou tui kapau teke lau moe ngaahi vahavaha'a 'e lava leva keke sio atu 'o fakalaka he mu'aihu 'oe SITOA. 'Oku ke tau'ataina pe koe ki ho'o faka'uihinga pea mau tau'ataina pe mo kimautolu ki he'emau faka'uhinga. Ko 'etau fepakipaki pe ko ho'o holi 'a'au ke 'o hake ho'o faka'uhinga ke tonu taha pe ia. Koe toe fo'i ma'uhala faka'ofa ia 'e taha.
    Pea 'oku te'eki ai ke ke tali mai 'e koe pe ko OGL pe kuo 'osi pea tuku 'aupito e kaiha'a, tohotoho moe ngauehala'aki e mafia 'I Tonga ni he koena kuo 'osi 'iai e ngaahi la'ipepa fakalao ke ta'ofi'aki.

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  • Bou
    Bou Friday, 09 June 2017 11:44 Comment Link

    Mark Hanson koe me'a mahino pe 'ae tu'u ia 'ae lao 'oku ne malu'i pea ngaue tatau kihe tokotaha kotoa pe 'o kau ai koe mo au...pea 'oku ou malu pe moau ia 'o hange ko ho'o lau kia koe, ka 'oku tau feinga ke vahevahe atu 'ae fo'i a'usia koia ke 'inasi ai moe ni'ihi 'oku 'ikai...
    Kou tui kapau na'e mahino ka moutolu 'ae CEDAW 'ae 'uhinga na'e teke ai 'ehe ngaahi kulupu kakai fefine, na'e taha pe 'uhinga ke malava 'ae kakai fefine kenau lesisita kelekele he koe fo'i me'a pe ia 'oku mata'a'a mai he lao hotau fonua 'oku fakafaikehekehe'i ai 'a fefine koe'uhi pe ko'ene fefine ke 'ikai lava ke lesisita kelekele 'o hange koia 'oku ma'u 'ehe hou'eiki tangata pea koe ngaahi lau fekau'aki moe mali tatau moe fakatotama ka tali e CEDAW 'o hange koe lau koena 'a Ului M, koe MA'U HALA KOTOA IA. kapau kuo ke lau e ngaahi kupu 'oe CEDAW pea ke tuku mai mo sipela tonu mai 'ae kupu koia 'oku ha ai ketau vakai kiai kae 'oua 'e tataki hala e kakai e fonua.
    Pea tuku foki Mark 'ae 'ai ke teke ia 'ae NCD he koena 'oku fakautuutu pe ia pea 'oku lolotonga fai pe ngaue ia kiai...Koe me'a na'e tonu ke tau hoha'a kiai pea tau longoa'a ai koe tali 'e Tonga 'ae WTO 'oku moulu fakalongolongo mai ai 'ae ngaahi fonua muli 'ihe fu'u sekitoa koia 'e 26 na'e fakamanga atu ki tu'apule'anga 'ehe pule'anga ke nau hu tavale mai ai pea tau mei hahaka hake pe kuo tau nofo 'i tahi hala'ata.

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  • Jo
    Jo Friday, 09 June 2017 10:46 Comment Link

    'E Mark Hanson 'amusia kitaua 'oku malu'i lelei 'e he'eta ngaahi kupu fekau'aki 'i he famili' 'o hangee ko ho'o lau'...ka 'e fefe 'a kinautolu 'oku 'ikai kenau a'usia 'a e lelei'ni pea 'oku mahino pe 'a e lao' ia 'oku tatau ki he taha kotoa..ka ko e haa koaa ho ngaahi fehu'i?

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  • Mark Hanson
    Mark Hanson Friday, 09 June 2017 00:56 Comment Link

    'E Bou mo Jo
    'Oku lolotonga malu'i pe 'ehe lao 'o Tonga 'eku 'fa'e, hoku mali, mo hoku fangatuofafine. 'Oku lolotonga malu'i pe kinautolu 'ehe lotu moe ma'uma'uluta homau family. 'Oku lolotonga malu'i pe kinautolu 'ehe akonaki 'emau fanga kui, kau faifekau, kau faiako moe family kotoa. Mahalo ko moua pe 'oku 'ikai malu'i pehe'i. Pea kapau 'oku 'ikai lava 'e homo fanga tuonga'ane mo ho'o mo tamai 'o malu'i moua pea mo 'alu 'o tala kihe kau polisi, kole tokoni kihe faifekau, 'ofisa kolo, mo ho'omo fa'ee. 'Oku 'ikai fiema'u ha la'ipepa SITOA ia na'e fa'u 'eha kau lesipieni mo ha kau nofo fakalusa kene malu'i kimautolu.
    Pea 'oku te'eki tali mai 'e OGL ia 'eku ngaahi fehu'i. Fefe mo ua, te mo lava 'o tali? tuku e SITOA ia kihe tafa'aki, tali mai 'eku fehu'i, pea ka 'ikai lava pea mo 'alu leva 'o kole ki ho'omo tamai mo homo fanga tuonga'ane ke malu'i moua, he'e laka ange ia he la'i SITOA.

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  • Aisea Matiu
    Aisea Matiu Thursday, 08 June 2017 23:29 Comment Link

    'Oku 'ikai ko e 'isiu tefito heni hono tali pe ta'etali 'a e CEDAW, Ko e fua 'isiu mahu'inga heni ke tokanga'i lelei mo lahi ko e fiema'u ha mahino 'oku lahi mo loloto ke fai'aki hono fakafenapasi 'a e me'a faka-Tonga mo e me'a faka-'Iulope ka e 'ikai ko hono hilifaki hifo pe 'a e me'a faka-'Iulope he me'a faka-Tonga pea lau tokua 'oku kovi e ka e sai 'ape e.

    Ko e hili ange 'a e 'aho 'e mole leva 'a e me'a faka-Tonga ka e ma'u 'a e me'a faka-'Iulope pea tokanga ko e ha leva hono to e mahu'inga mo 'aonga 'a e lau 'o e mo'ui faka-Tonga mo e Tonga ka e fakakaukau faka-'Iulope mo ngaue ko e 'Iulope. Ko e fepaki lahi 'eni mo e nunu'a kovi.

    Ko ia ai 'oku fiema'u 'a e ako lahi mo loloto ki he ongo me'a faka-Tonga mo e me'a faka-'Iulope ka e tefito ki he me'a faka-Tonga 'o hange ko e lau malie 'a 'Anolo mo Mark, 'o 'ikai lau pe ko e tangata pe fefine. Kae kehe 'oku to e kaunga lahi 'a e mounu fakatauele 'o folokopu 'e he ni'ihi 'o e pa'anga muli mei 'Iulope ki he lahi 'o e ngaahi maumau 'e hoko he nofo 'a e fonua.

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  • Ului M
    Ului M Thursday, 08 June 2017 22:08 Comment Link

    Fokotuu atu foki ke fai mo tali e CEDAW katau sio leva he fasitanunu mai e ngaahi fokotuu kehekehe. Pea ka femaliaki pe hoo mou fanau fefine pea oua toe hanu. Te tau tala i he aho ni heikai hoko ha mea, koene a'u pe kiai ku iai e mea kehe. Sio ka Akilisi tau loto ke alu hake pea tau fakatu'otu'a ki ha mea lelei, koeni aluatu e power ki hono nima ku ai e meakehe ia. Fai mo tali e CEDAW pea tau sio koeha e mea ia e hoko kihe kau poupou koeni e.

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  • Jo
    Jo Thursday, 08 June 2017 12:20 Comment Link

    Pe 'e mahino fakakuu 'oku 'ikai 'i ai ha kupu he CEDAW 'e fai ai ha lave ki he faka-sotoma mo e fakamala'ia koena ku lau mai he kau tangata ko ena 'i 'olunga. Ko e CEDAW koe 'uhinga pe ki hono fakafaikehekehe'i 'o fefine meia tangata 'i he ngaahi monuu 'oku foaki 'e ha fonua full stop...Pea ko e "Talk about letting the camel's hoof into the tent!!" Kuo fuoloa huu fu'u camel koena kuomou ilifia'i ke fu'u teniti'. Koe CEDAW koe me'angaue pe ke tokoni ki hono malu'i ho fa'e', tuofefine' , 'ofefine' mo homo makapuna fafine' he kaha'u'...but then again you wouldn't understand because your both men and the Convention is for women.

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  • Bou
    Bou Thursday, 08 June 2017 12:06 Comment Link

    'Oku ou tui ongo tangata 'oku mahino pea mata'a'a pe kihe kakai ia 'oe fonua hono tuku 'e Tupou 1 'a Tonga ki Langi ka 'oku 'iai hotau fatongia ke tauhi e tukupa koia. pea 'oku fiema'u ia ke tau lotu mo ngaue pea 'ai ke ngali koe ki'i fonua si'isi'i mo lotu eni ke fakaha mai he to'onga mo'ui pea moe me'a 'oku tau fakahoko.
    Pea 'oku ou tui kapau na'amo 'ilo loloto kihe kanokato 'oe CEDAW he 'ikai temo tukuhifo'i pehe'i 'ae kakai 'oku nau fai e ngaue ke teke 'ae konivesio koeni pea mo'oni pe ia he koe ongo tangata kimoua he koe konivesio eni kihe kakai fefine pea he'ikai kene lava 'e ia ke solova faka'aufuli e palopalema ka 'e tokoni 'ae me'angaue koeni pe koe CEDAW ke ne hakeaki'i 'ae mo'ui ho'o fa'e, ho'o mali, ho'o tuofefine, ho'o 'ofefine, mo ho'o fanga makapuna fefine ha 'aho 'iha fa'ahinga fakafaikehekehe koe'uhi pe ko 'enau fefine. 'Oua tetau sio pe 'o ngata hotau mu'a'i ihu 'o siokita kihe kaha'u.

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