Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

Banaban Human Rights Movement Retreat in Savusavu

Banaban Human Rights Movement Retreat in Savusavu

Savusavu, Fiji – April 14, 2024 – The Banaban Human Rights Defenders Network (BHRDN) and consultants successfully concluded a three-day retreat at the Hotspring Hotel in Savusavu, Fiji, from April 10th to 12th, 2024. The retreat brought together partners, founders, activists and community leaders from the four villages of Rabi namely Tabwewa, Uma, Tabiang and Buakonikai committed to advancing the rights and well-being of the Banaban people.

The retreat, provided a crucial platform for dialogue, collaboration, and strategic planning. Participants engaged in robust discussions on pressing issues affecting the Banaban community, particularly those living on Rabi Island in northern Fiji and Banaba in Kiribati.

The retreat centered around the theme of Non-Economic Loss & Damage. Members explored the multifaceted impacts of climate change, displacement, and historical injustices on the Banaban people. Its people have endured historical oppression, displacement, and environmental crises. The Banaban community faces unique challenges due to its geopolitical position, often falling through the cracks of national policies. Strategies were devised to address these challenges and seek justice.

Partners and founders actively contributed to shaping ongoing projects by providing community inputs to the agenda. Their insights and expertise were invaluable in finalizing community-driven initiatives aimed at improving livelihoods, preserving culture, and safeguarding human rights.

The retreat also stressed the urgency of addressing socio-economic disparities faced by Banabans. Participants renewed their commitment to advocating for justice, self-determination, and sustainable development. The Banaban Human Rights Defender’s Network and Banaban Human Rights Defender’s Consultancy Services pledged to amplify their efforts.

In addition to policy discussions, the retreat created healing spaces for Banabans grappling with generational trauma and legal challenges. The scars of phosphate mining, land dispossession, and water scarcity run deep. The retreat allowed for collective healing and resilience-building.

As the retreat concluded, participants left with renewed determination. The Banaban Human Rights Movement remains steadfast in its pursuit of justice, equity, and dignity for the Banaban people.

The convening was funded by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) generously funded the retreat. Their commitment to human rights advocacy allowed participants to convene and strategize effectively.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Mr. Itinterunga Rae Email:  Phone: +679 7283 293

About the Banaban Human Rights Defenders Network (BHRDN)

The BHRDN is a grassroots organization committed to defending the rights of the Banaban community. Through collaborative efforts, they seek to address environmental crises, promote self-sufficiency, and protect the cultural heritage of Rabi Island.

About the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

UUSC advances human rights through grassroots collaborations. Their support empowers communities worldwide to create lasting change.

Image Credit: Banaban Human Rights Defenders Network

Note to Editors:

Please credit the Banaban Human Rights Defenders Network for the image used in this press release.