Ombudsman Makes Intervention at the 49 th Human Rights Council Session

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Thursday 24 March 2022. Ombudsman makes intervention at the 49th Human Rights Council session during the adoption of Samoa’s UPR.

The Office of the Ombudsman National Human Rights Institution (NHRI Samoa) as an
accredited ‘A’ status national human rights institution, had the opportunity to make an
intervention and present before the Human Rights Council (HRC) via video statement during the adoption of the outcome of Samoa’s 3rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on
Wednesday 23 March 2022 in Geneva at 9.00 pm Samoa local time.

The Ombudsman, Afioga Luamanuvao Katalaina Sapolu in her statement to the HRC commended the Government for its continuous commitment to the promotion and protection of rights and freedoms of all Samoans, and also highlighted specific human rights issues supported by the Government requiring urgent attention. Such issues include the right to health i.e. combating NCDs, health literacy, and ensuring that human rights principles are continuously observed in the Government’s COVID-19 response, as well as the protection of the rights of children to be free from violence and exploitation.

The Ombudsman also welcomed the State’s support for measures to be taken for NHRI
Samoa to be adequately resourced to carry out its functions effectively in accordance with the Paris Principles. This support is important for NHRI Samoa to independently and effectively implement its broad mandate to continue monitoring the implementation of the
recommendations for the enjoyment of all human rights for all Samoans.
In addition to the implementation of the UPR recommendations, the Ombudsman encouraged the State to consider and implement recommendations from NHRI Samoa’s last 7 reports on the state of human rights in Samoa.

NHRI Samoa will continue to monitor and offer its support to Government in the
implementation of the recommendations to ensure that human rights principles and standards are comprehensively mainstreamed and observed in its policies, activities, and programmes. It also encourages the Government to continue to work with civil society groups to ensure the satisfactory implementation of recommendations over the next 5 years.

The Office commends local Civil Society Organisations who also made interventions
including the Samoa Family Health Association and the Samoa National Youth Council.
Such intervention reflects the key role CSOs play in the promotion and protection of human
rights in Samoa.

Out of the 145 recommendations issued by member states, the Government supported 112
and noted 33. Samoa’s next UPR will take place in 2026.