• Service: Advisory
  • Type: KPMG information
  • Date: 12/6/2013

Civil Society participates in forging national constitution  

An estimated 1200 submissions from civil society were made to the Constitution Commission of Fiji between July to October 2012 during the public hearings phase mainly relating to the inclusion of different forms of socio‐economic rights, such as access to education and health services. The new constitution was ratified in September 2013.
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1. Context and Theory of Change


Local Community Context 


At the local community level in Fiji there are strong traditional governance structures within indigenous communities, with limited engagement between the local population and local government, as such there are few demands being made on local government.  There is limited understanding of individual rights and a high level of apathy on broader national political and constitutional issues.  Within Fiji there is a large degree of suspicion and division between different ethnic groups, in particular between indigenous and indo‐Fijian communities. Within these communities, in particular within the indigenous community, there is little understanding of common citizenship and multiculturalism.


National Context 


The environment of a largely unquestioning and politically apathetic populace promotes monopolisation and abuse of power at the national political level (e.g. military coups, corruption and human rights abuses). Combined with this political and rights knowledge drought, a lack of a common national identity and citizenry enables leaders and politicians to use ethnic fears and division to gain political advantage, further driving political division and instability.  At a national level there has being a military‐backed government in place through the life of the project, providing a negative influence on participative and inclusive democratic governance. The government has also strongly restricted the media and applied restrictions to assembly and movement.  The government