Apia, 28 March 2023 – Mandated under s.40 of the Ombudsman Act 2013, the Ombudsman is to report to Parliament every year in June on the status of the promotion and the protection of human rights in Samoa.
The report contains recommendations informed by submissions from members of the public and various groups and organisations including the Government about reforms and other measures to prevent or redress any human rights violations arising to ensure the continuous promotion and protection of the rights and freedoms of every individual in Samoa.
The Report for 2023 will focus on safeguarding the rights of children in Samoa. The focus of the report on the rights of children is not only as a result of the issue being one of great relevance and significance, but also given Samoa is up for review by the Convention on the Rights of the Child Committee on its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Thus, the 2023 report will greatly assist not only the NHRI, but also Government, NGOs, and other independent bodies on their reporting preparation.
To inform its analysis and recommendations, the Office held community consultations in 5 Districts which includes Gagaifomauga, Fa’asaleleaga, Aleipata Itupa Lalo and Itupa Luga, Vaimauga 4 and Aiga le Tai (Manono-tai & Apolima uta). Some of the key issues raised by the community included:
• lack of parent child communication in the family;
• changes in the approach children are raised nowadays to be more associated with violence;
• high cost of living impacting on parents’ ability to provide for their children;
• lack of attention given to children with disabilities
Views from these consultations will be in addition to feedback from the business community, civil society, government, children and individuals who have been or will be consulted on the matter.
Call for submissions from the public opened in November 2022 and will close Friday 14 April 2023. Individuals, business owners, civil society, Government Ministries and anyone who may want to voice their views and concerns regarding the promotion and protection of the rights of children in Samoa can still have their say by filling out the Office Questionnaire found on our website: https://ombudsman.gov.ws/covid-19/ or provide a written submission outlining your views, concerns and recommendations.