In June 2021 Vanuatu’s Parliament passed the country’s first Cybercrime Act, following the technical assistance received in 2018 from the Council of Europe via its Global Action on Cybercrime Extended (GLACY+) project for harmonising its national legislation with international standards in the field. Vanuatu has a long-standing relationship with the Council of Europe, having participated since 2011 in some fifteen regional, international, and national capacity building activities supported by the Council of Europe.
In the context of the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Vanuatu government has recognised the need for accelerating the digitisation of its services and economy. In a recent review of its current legislative framework, Vanuatu has identified data protection and privacy as a key priority area to be regulated, having in mind the role of sound data protection legislation as enabling factor for digital innovation plans and the importance of protecting its citizens’, corporate, and institutional data as an integral part of its fight against the spread of cybercrime.
In this sense, the Vanuatu government has requested the Council of Europe’s assistance in August 2021 with the development of a “robust, effective, and efficient” legal framework on data protection and privacy, in line with international standards in the field (e.g. Council of Europe’s Convention 108+).
Developing and bringing Vanuatu’s legislative framework in line with international standards in the field strengthens the capacity of all governments and increases the trust of all citizens in the safer and more reliable use of the internet and the services that it facilitates.
On 9 and 10 December 2021, the National Expert Task Force (NETF) for Data Protection & Privacy (DP&P), specially set up to develop the future law on data protection and privacy met during a two sessions introductory workshop (on line) with Council of Europe international experts to discuss the data protection principles of international standards and Convention 108+ and map the way forward.