The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, near New Guinea. In the 1880s France and the United Kingdom claimed parts of the country, and in 1906 they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through a British-French Condominium. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was created in 1980. During the 1990s Vanuatu experienced political instability which eventually resulted in a more decentralized government. The Vanuatu Mobile Force, a paramilitary group, attempted a coup in 1996 because of a pay dispute. There were allegations of corruption in the government of Maxime Carlot Korman. New elections have been called for several times since 1997, most recently in 2004.
There are no criminal laws against homosexuality in Vanuatu. Since 2007, the age of consent under the Criminal Cosolidation Act 2006 is 16, regardless of sex or sexual orientation. However, Vanuatu does not recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships. There is no legal protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
News & Reports:
- Gay Vanuatu News & Reports, 2010/Oct/18