Project information

Ethnic Relations & Anti-Discimination in Fiji

The project seeks to facilitate the peaceful conciliation of group interests in Fiji through increased dialogue & engagement between key stakeholders, including civil society. It will strengthen the role of these stakeholders in combating racial discrimination and inter-ethnic tensions & violence.

December 2011 - June 2013

Charity information: Minority Rights Group International (MRG)

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) logo
  • Need


    Fiji has experienced a prolonged history of inter-ethnic conflicts & violence. Racial tensions seem to be part of everyday interactions in modern day Fiji with ethnicity remaining a defining feature of social and institutional relations. Furthermore, there is a clear distinctive lack of social understanding & acceptance of different cultures which exacerbate the ongoing inter-ethnic tensions. Fiji has also experienced a high level of political instability, with four coups in just over 20 years.


    The initiative will contribute to collecting recent & trustworthy information on inter-ethnic relations in Fiji which could serve as a basis to design strategies that really meet the need on the ground. It will provide a detailed analysis of the current military regime’s strategies. By encouraging dialogue between relevant stakeholders (civil society, international organizations and bodies & the government essentially), it will strengthen the impact of CSOs in the area of inter-ethnic relations.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Raise awareness of the inter-ethnic issues in Fiji and governmental plans to address them


    » Research & publication of a report on inter-ethnic relations, social discrimination & race-based exclusion, and the relevant government's policies.
    » 1500 copies of the report will be printed and widely disseminated to key stakeholders, in Fiji and abroad.
    » The report will also be launched in Suva and London.

    Success will be when the published report enhances understanding of the inter-ethnic relations in Fiji and the government's measures to challenge discrimination.

    Aim 2

    Encourage dialogue among different stakeholders on the improvement of inter-ethnic relations in Fiji


    » Organizing a roundtable event in Suva, with the participation of government officials, MRG & representatives of ethnic communities, NGOs.
    » A meeting for civil society & leaders to come up with a common position in preparation of the meeting with government officials.

    At least 7 “physical” opportunities for dialogue and engagement between key stakeholders take place, one stakeholders roundtable & one civil society meeting are organized.

    Aim 3

    Encourage the government to take affirmative action on challenging inter-ethnic tensions in Fiji.


    » Organizing at least 7 meetings between NGO representatives & government officials to engage on the possible measures to improve the situation in Fiji.
    » Key findings of the report would be discussed in advance of publication with the Fijian government in order to allow them to comment.

    Success will be when 9 Government Ministries/Departments and 5-8 international bodies are engaged in the work.

  • Impact


    The project will improve the dialogue between national and international decision-makers, Fijian NGOs and representatives of ethnic communities & encourage them to consider the causes of poor inter-ethnic relations and discrimination and the measures needed to address them. Overall, the initiative will improve inter-ethnic relations and reduce discrimination against specific ethnic groups in Fiji.


    Risks include fieldwork and community based activities jeopardised by civil/political unrest. However, MRG has a contingency plan that would be put into place and would encompass this project.


    Reporting to donors will take place on an annual basis, in conjunction with our main donor’s reporting guidelines.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £76,806

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      Amount Heading Description
      £36,608 Research and publication research, writing, printing, distributing the report, launch and roundtable event
      £5,460 dialogue one-to-one meetings with national and local officials
      £25,902 Staff UK and local staff
      £4,758 Management management costs
      £4,078 Office costs equipment, office rent, electricity

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) £71,568 Guaranteed
  • Background




    We will work with the two predominant ethnic groups: the indigenous Fijians representing 56.8% of the population and Indo-Fijians making up 37.5% of the population, but also ethnic groups including Rotumans, Banabans, Solomon Islanders, Tuvaluans, Kiribati, Chinese, Samoans & Tongans. The project will enhance the effectiveness of civil society organizations, especially those working in the areas of social and economic rights, women’s rights, religious tolerance, multiculturalism & peace-building

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    There is no other NGO with MRG’s broad mandate on minority issues, nor its high reputation among minority communities, governments and UN human rights bodies. MRG has consultative status with the UN Economic & Social Council and observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The initiative is part of MRG's Conflict Prevention programme, which has, since 2005, analyzed the root causes of violence and violations of minority and indigenous peoples’ rights.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF)

    The CCF will assist with its expertise of inter-ethnic relations and discrimination in Fiji.