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Solomon Airlines staff step forward on International Day of Friendship

Posted on July 30, 2020 at 08:00 AM in General News

  • Encouraging support against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the Pacific region

Solomon Airlines six-person employee team responsible for the airline’s non-gender based violence policy, are respectfully blazing a trail they hope will be an example to companies across the Pacific.

It is now 12 months since with management support, the team of four women and two men completed IFC training and helped establish Solomon Airlines’ own company-wide ‘Violence Policy’, an initiative that addresses a broader community issue and provides a safe and trusted working environment at the national carrier.

“It is a policy which has made a continuing difference within our own company culture.  It affirms the equality of women and men, the need to treat each other with respect, and to act to eliminate gender-based violence, “said June Pelomo, Legal Affairs Officer.

“We have mutual respect regardless of gender and it is understood that any of our employees at any time, can come forward on a confidential basis to seek support if they are personally experiencing gender-based violence,” she added.

Solomon Airlines’ Violence Policy, which was developed with IFC’s support, defines what constitutes domestic violence, specifies the responsibilities of the company towards preventing it or addressing it, sets clear procedures for reporting and investigating, and identifies remedial actions and support measures. 

Stepping forward on the ‘International Day of Friendship 2020’, Solomon Airlines Violence Contact Team hopes to share their example to other companies across Solomon Islands and the Pacific region.

“We want to show that companies like ours can effect positive change to encourage friendship and gender equality in workplaces and communities everywhere,” said June Pelomo, Legal Affairs Officer.

The International Day of Friendship proclaimed in 2011 by the United Nations General Assembly, promotes the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures, and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

“Company culture too is a form of community and at Solomon Airlines, we have established a specific policy and team to create awareness and openness, particularly for anyone affected around this issue,” Ms. Pelomo said.

“We are very proud of this achievement to support our employees and hope to be an example to other businesses and organisations where employees may be experiencing gender-based domestic violence at home, or potentially unacceptable harassment in the workplace,” she added.

“It should be instilled in our minds that family or domestic violence is not a private matter. Our encouragement to fellow Solomon Islanders and other Pacific Island Countries is to join in advocating and spreading awareness against GBV.

“Making progress on this issue also requires greater awareness and policy development at national and regional level by companies, organisations, government bodies, private sector and NGOs, and the strengthening of our national or regional laws,” Ms. Pelomo added.

Solomon Airlines Human Resources Hernandia Zoloveke agrees: “No human has to be a victim of GBV and understanding that our brothers and sisters in the Pacific region also experience GBV is a heartfelt emotion for us,” she said.

“We are joining the stand against GBV with our Pacific brothers and sisters. Our goal is simple and that is to be a voice, to help break the silence, end violence, and to spread kindness and understanding.

“By showing what our company is doing and engaging people in awareness and discussion, we can be an example.  We can effect positive change in communities, help ensure justice, save lives and make a very important difference,” she said. 

Under Solomon Airlines ‘Violence Policy’, the airline's Violence Contact Team undertakes the following functions: 

  • Raising general awareness about any forms of violence and its effects and impacts on the victim, work performance and the Company;
  • Appropriately responding to a victim’s disclosure by respecting the victim’s choice;
  • Supporting and coordinating the victim’s access to available workplace and community support from the first point of contact to when the victim will no longer requires assistance;
  • Engaging in referrals to SAFENET or other appropriate bodies to provide professional support to the victim;
  • Encouraging and accepting notification from employees about perpetrators in the workplace and appropriately escalating these allegations so that they can be for investigation
  • Identifying through participation in monitoring and evaluation activities, any barriers to access, that employees may face in accessing the Company's Violence Policy; and addressing barriers identified. 

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