Pacific neighbours share human rights insights
Graphic: The Ombudsman of Tuvalu with representatives of the Office of the Ombudsman of Samoa
The head of the newest NHRI in the Asia Pacific has met with counterparts in Samoa to learn more about their work to promote and protect human rights.
The head of the newest national human rights institution (NHRI) in the Asia Pacific – the Ombudsman of Tuvalu – has met with counterparts in Samoa to learn more about their work to promote and protect human rights.
The three-day study visit to Apia was an opportunity for the Ombudsman of Tuvalu, Sa'aga Talu Teafa, to engage in a lively exchange about the different aspects of Samoa's NHRI, including its approach to handling complaints, conducting special investigations and running human rights education and outreach programs.
In addition, the Ombudsman of Samoa, Maiava Iulia Toma, provided an overview of the national inquiry into family violence conducted by his office – the first study of its kind in the country – which was held following community consultations to identify the most serious human rights issues.
The Ombudsman of Tuvalu describes some highlights of his visit to Samoa to learn more about work the practical work of NHRIs to promote and protect human rights.
We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to come over to Samoa and to get all these ideas that will support the operation of our new mandate.
The delegation also met with local stakeholders to further understand the ways in which the Samoa's NHRI collaborates with key government agencies and civil society partners in Samoa.
The Ombudsman of Tuvalu had discussions with representatives from the Police Professional Standards Unit, Prison and Corrections Services, the Samoan Faafafine Association (a member of the Ombudsman's Advisory Council) and representatives from UN Women, UNESCO, UNICEF and the ILO.
In 2017, the Parliament of Tuvalu passed legislation to establish an NHRI as part of an expanded Ombuds Office.
This is the same model adopted by Samoa, when it established an NHRI in 2013.
Under the legislation, Tuvalu's Ombudsman is able to receive complaints and initiate inquiries into pressing human rights issues, as well as undertake activities to promote awareness of fundamental human rights.
The study visit to Samoa, which ran from 16-18 April 2018, was supported by the APF and the South Pacific Community's Regional Rights Resource Team.
In the previous week, the APF and RRRT facilitated a Capacity Assessment Review with Samoa's NHRI, only the third such review undertaken to date.
Date: 23 April 2018
- The Ombudsman of Tuvalu with representatives of the Office of the Ombudsman of Samoa - Office of the Ombudsman of Samoa