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Samoa's NHRI receives strong support

Graphic: Office of the Ombudsman of Samoa

The work of the newly-established NHRI of Samoa had received strong endorsement by the Government, with funding for three new positions.


The work of the newly-established national human rights institution (NHRI) of Samoa has been given strong endorsement by the Government, with funding provided to establish three new positions.

In May 2013, Samoa's Parliament passed legislation to expand the Office of the Ombudsman (Komesina o Sulufaiga) to include a range of human rights functions.

Last month, as part of the Government's budget for 2014-15, the Office of the Ombudsman was informed that the following three positions would be established:

The positions are currently being advertised. Applications close on 8 August 2014.

Funding was also provided to establish an Advisory Council to help guide and support the human rights work of the Ombudsman. The Advisory Council has now been appointed and is due to meet for a two-day orientation next month.

Kieren Fitzpatrick, Director of the APF secretariat, said the financial support provided by the Government of Samoa reflects its commitment to establishing a strong and independent NHRI.

"This budget will provide a solid basis for the Office of the Ombudsman to undertake substantive work in the coming year and help build community awareness and discussion of human rights," he said.

The APF, in partnership with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, provided support to the Government of Samoa over the past few years in developing a preferred model for the NHRI and drafting the establishing legislation.

Earlier this year, the APF, OHCHR, UNDP and the Pacific Ombudsman Alliance worked with the Office of the Ombudsman to prepare a capacity assessment report, which examined the support, expertise and resourcing that would be required for the Office to be able to meet its responsibilities as an independent NHRI.

Date: 21 July 2014