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16 May 2019

Community Health and Mobility in the Pacific: Solomon Islands Case Study

Migration and mobility are central features of the Pacific Islands landscape. The diverse island States dispersed throughout the world’s largest ocean are connected by thousands of years of migration, history and culture. Mobility continues to remain a cornerstone of contemporary Pacific Islander identity and is central to many facets of Pacific Islands life. Both push and pull factors – such as marriage and maintenance of kin relations, trade and exchange, livelihood and economic opportunities, and displacement and resettlement from conflict or environmental hazards – motivate movement.

Mobility brings both opportunities and challenges. With increasing rates of mobility and the expansion of extractive industries such as forestry, mining and commercial fishing in the region, it is of particular importance to understand potential community health challenges and vulnerabilities that may impact the populations and communities affected by these changes. Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a worldwide public health issue, and emerging evidence from Solomon Islands has demonstrated that migration-affected communities face particular challenges in relation to community health and VAWG, including increased risk of sexual exploitation, trafficking and abuse. Despite the high number of anecdotal reports on this issue, little evidence or data currently exists that specifically addresses the nexus of gender, mobility and health in the Pacific. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Community Health and Mobility in the Pacific (CHAMP) project has been established to address this gap. This report focuses on this nexus in the Solomon Islands context.

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgements
  • Notes on the research
  • List of figures
  • List of tables
  • List of acronyms
  • Definition of terms
  • Executive summary
  • 1. Introduction and background
    • 1.1. Research objectives in Solomon Islands
    • 1.2. Migration-affected communities in Solomon Islands
    • 1.3. Country context
    • 1.4. Policy context
    • 1.5. Study methods
  • 2. Findings: community health and mobility in Solomon Islands
    • 2.1. Community and mobility
      • 2.1.1. Community dynamics
      • 2.1.2. Mobility dynamics
      • 2.1.3. Social concerns
    • 2.2. Gender, relationships and trafficking risks
      • 2.2.1. General relationships knowledge, attitudes and practices
      • 2.2.2. Sexual and relationship risks and behaviours
      • 2.2.3. Trafficking knowledge, attitudes and practices
    • 2.3. Health prioritization and sexual and reproductive health
      • 2.3.1. General health priorities
      • 2.3.2. Sexual and reproductive health
  • 3. Migration-affected communities as spaces of vulnerability
    • 3.1. Trafficking and related dynamics
    • 3.2. Dynamics of vulnerability
    • 3.2.1. Localized and pre-existing dynamics of vulnerability
    • 3.3. Protection and accountability
  • 4. Conclusion and recommendations
    • 4.1. Conclusion
    • 4.2. Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix A: International and regional policy commitments
  • Appendix B: Study methodology
  • Appendix C: Key informants
  • Appendix D: Research permit
  • Appendix E: Ethics approval