RTI Awareness In Luganville Launches With High Turnout

OVER 500 PEOPLE visited the Transparency International Vanuatu information booth that was set up at the La Plage in Luganville Yesterday, Thursday 11th of November. The purpose of the booth was to promote and talk to people about the importance, and the reasons why we need to have the Right To Information (RTI) and how it would help the lives of the citizens of Vanuatu and to highlight citizens’ rights and duties in the Vanuatu Constitution.

Happy to be the La Plage

People began visiting the Information booth immediately after it opened around nine o’clock in the morning, visitors came from as far as the Big Bay area and the West Coast of Santo. Throughout the morning several groups of people visited the information booth to get the information that was being broadcasted through the PA system by the TIV Civic Education Officer Mr. Douglas Tamara.

Among the visitors was an individual who came from the West Coast of Santo, after listening and reading through on information about the RTI he said that “our voices rarely get heard, there is a barrier that makes it impossible for information to get to us, what we hear on the road is what we get and that’s it.” He was referring to the region of West Coast Santo where it is isolated by road and is sometimes commonly referred to as the ‘last ples, last tingting’ (last place, last opinion).

TIV Legal Officer advocates for RTI

Another visitor, who had just arrived from the island of Malekula, expressed his wish to see that relevant information is released for public awareness on a regular basis. He stated that information regarding foreign companies and investors that are investing in the islands of Vanuatu must also be released and received by the people in the remote communities so that they are aware of what is happening around them, and importantly who are the main players behind this investments.

By midday visitors continued to pour in, some of them sought informationBanner 1 about Transparency International Vanuatu’s Advocacy & Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) while others sat by the seashore listening to Mr. Douglas talk about the rights and duties of citizens as expressed in the Vanuatu National Constitution.

Bislama copies of the National Constitution were also made available to the visitors for free, “a lot of people do not have this,” explained a youth from Fanafo village while holding up his copy of the constitution, “I am happy that I have a copy of the constitution, thank you,” he acknowledged while flickering through the pages.

As a matter of fact, he was not the only one who appreciated a copy of Vanuatu constitution because by midday two plastic containers that were recently filled with constitution books had run empty. Two hundred additional constitution books were later brought in by the TIV Sanma Provincial Facilitator to give to the visitors, but by 2 o’clock even the 200 copies of the national constitution were not enough to meet the public’s demand.

TIV Sanma based Officer talking to visitors
TIV Sanma based Officer advocate on RTI

Transparency International Vanuatu believes in a participatory society where everyone concerned is involved in the decision-making process, and this can be achieved if everyone is well informed. Since its establishment in 2001 TIV has conducted such educational programs across the islands of Vanuatu, and TIV will continue to do so to support the national development of Vanuatu and to safeguard Vanuatu’s national integrity.

Between nine o’clock and twelve o’clock over 400 people visited the TIV information booth on the Right To Information, this significant high turnout within such a short three hour time-frame continues to confirm the will and the interests of the people during this times. By 2 o’clock the number of visitors had reached over 500.


Yesterday afternoon the Team visited the Sarakata community to talk to the young people there. Today the information booth will move to the Luganville Market House to deliver the same message – We Have The Right To Know – and this evening the team will visit the community of Solwey to talk to the people there. The areas of Pepsi, Showground, Chapuis, South and East Santo will be visited this week and next week.


If you interested in hearing more and to share your thoughts on the Right to Information a public consultation will be held on Monday the 23rd at the VNPF conference room in Santo, the forum will begin at 9:30 in the morning, everyone is welcome to attend.

For more information please contact us at; Tel: 25715, email; transparency@vanuatu.com.vu

TIV To Visit Santo For RTI Public Consultation

SEVERAL OFFICERS FROM Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) will be traveling to the island of Santo next week to conduct the Right To Information Public Consultation Forum which is to be held at the Santo VNPF Conference Room on 23 November 2015.

However, prior to this public consultation forum on the Right To Information (RTI) taking place, TIV will get the opportunity to hold a series of civic workshops with the leaders of several communities in urban Luganville and in some of the rural communities.Banner 1

With the assistance of Transparency International Vanuatu’s Sanma Provincial Facilitator, based in Luganville, TIV will get to conduct several workshops on Civic Education, Good Governance, Human Rights, Right To Information and several more.

Furthermore, legal officers from the Advocacy & Legal Advice Centre (ALAC), which is a project under TIV, will be in Santo during that same period to talk about how victims of corruption can lodge a corruption complaint with the ALAC.

An ALAC booth will be erected alongside the workshop locations to receive corruption complaints from members of the public. A Corruption Complaint Box will also be available to the public to slot in their complaints for further perusals by the ALAC Team if they prefer this option, otherwise the TIV Team is inviting members of the public in Luganville, and Santo, to drop by for a chat and to ask for further information and exedra.

Students who are doing assignments, or are interested in fields related to the above mentioned workshops, are also encouraged to get in touch with the TIV Team to get the information th
at they need.

The key reason behind this tour is specifically to organise the Right To Information Public Consultation which will be held at the Santo VNPF Conference Room. It is to make aware to the public the benefits of having an RTI Law in Vanuatu. As part of this tour the recently established Right To Information Unit in Port Vila will also have an officer in Santo to do a presentation on the contents of the RTI bill which currently in draft.

The Vanuatu Right To Information Policy was launched in 2014. It commits the government to release information to the public, subject to certain exceptions protective of a number of interests such as national security, personal information and privacy, and certain commercial information.

A RTI bill has been drafted and the Government is now taking steps to implement the Right To Information Policy.

In support of citizenry privileges, the RTI Policy states that the “Right to Information means that persons and organizations have a legally recognized right to request and obtain access to information, subject to limited exceptions, from public, and in some in-stances, private bodies performing public functions.”(National RTI Policy 2013 – 2018)

Furthermore, citizens will have the right to access and correct all personal information held by public and private bodies about themselves. The importance of having the right to information is because it is the foundation of the development of a nation and a symbol for an open society.

The RTI will also promote openness, transparency and accountability in the functioning of every public authority. It supports and protects human rights and makes citizens a part of decision making. And most importantly it is a tool to reduce corruption in Vanuatu.

It is also important because as citizens we need to have access to information so that we can make the right decisions for the development of our communities and for Vanuatu. TIV is inviting all interested members of the public in Luganville to come and be a part of the consultation process at the VNPF Conference Room on the mentioned date, and to join TIV during other workshops that will be held during the adjacent days.

For further information regarding this activity please contact us; Tel: 25715, Email: transparency@vanuatu.com.vu.