Association praised for promoting rights

Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma has praised the Samoa Fa’afafine Association for continuing to champion human rights in Samoa.

Speaking before Samoa’s Universal Periodic Review Mid-Term Report early in the month, Maiava said the association is legitimate and are genuine. 

“They are a legitimate group of our society in which NHRI Samoa has a genuine interest to promote and to protect their human rights. We as human beings and as Samoans are all entitled to such rights. 

“SFA (Samoa Fa’afafine Association) has always taken a cautious approach with its advocacy work where it has kept a firm eye on local context and ensured that its work is consistent and upholds the cultural and religious values of Samoa. 

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“Such approach has been very successful for the group allowing for greater tolerance and a consolidation of their acceptance by society. This approach is an effective best practice which we as well as the world can learn from,” he said.

The statement by the Ombudsman set the tone for the Samoa Fa’afafine Association Universal Periodic Review Mid-Term Report.

The outcome of the review will be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) for its inclusion in Samoa’s National Mechanism for reporting and follow-up.

The SFA, in a posting on their Facebook page, said the review outcome has seen progress in its human-rights-for-all journey.

“We are proud to announce the outcome of the Review saw tremendous progress by SFA in its Human Rights for All journey which would not have been possible without the support of its stakeholders and allies in Government, Development Partners, Civil Society and Private Sector.

“Special acknowledgement to the Office of the Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma and NHRI Team Loukinikini Vili, Charles Dean and Tracey Mikaele for supporting this important cause for SFA,” the association stated in their social media post.

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