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Samoa to launch inquiry into violence

Wednesday 7 September 2016 | Published in Regional

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SAMOA – Samoa’s Ombudsman plans to launch a national enquiry into violence next year.

Maiava Iulai Toma told delegates at a Commonwealth meeting in Apia there is much work to be done in combating Samoa’s particularly high rates of domestic violence.

He said details such as the enquiry’s scope are still being worked out but a major challenge will be collecting evidence in a culturally sensitive and safe way.

“We need to do this to address the impact of things on present victims, we need also to address the high tolerance of violence generally in Samoa, in Samoan life, that seems to roll on and on from generation to generation,” he said.

Maiava Iulai Toma said his office will release a preliminary paper soon to define the enquiry and to get funds from donors.

The ombudsman was speaking at a special meeting on family violence in Samoa on the fringes of the 11th Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting for Commonwealth countries.

He said the enquiry would involve public hearings around the country.

“We will endeavour to help our partners in the government, civil society and international agencies to implement the recommendations from the report.

“We will take the message throughout Samoa that violence is not acceptable within fa’a Samoa as well as within a human rights perspective,” he said.

- RNZI