Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Charles B. Fields
The Republic of Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides) is made up of 80 islands with a land area of 12,200 square kilometers that is 1,300 miles northeast of Sydney, Australia. It is a parliamentary democracy that gained independence from Great Britain and France in 1980 and is a member of the British Commonwealth. Official languages are Bislama (Pidgin), French, and English, and residents speak more than 100 tribal languages. Ninety-eight percent of the 200,000 residents are Ni-Vanuatu (Melanesian), and the vast majority (80%) are either subsistence farmers or fishermen. The overall crime rate is relatively low. The majority of the crime in Vanuatu is primarily against property, but indications are that crimes against persons are increasing. Drug trafficking and organized crime also are on the ...