Samoa a mixed bag on human rights
Data released by a global human rights tracker on human rights in Samoa shows a mixed bag, with the country scoring well for quality of life, but poorly on civil liberties and political freedoms.
The data collated by the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI), which is the first global initiative to track the human rights performance of countries, was released on 28 September 2022 and used as yardsticks the categories "quality of life", "safety from the State" and "empowerment".
For the Quality of Life category – which covered right to education, food, health, housing and work – the initiative said Samoa scored 89.7 per cent when scored against the "income adjusted" benchmark.
This is in terms of how well Samoa is doing compared to what is possible at its level of income.
"Compared with the other countries in the Pacific, Samoa is performing better than average on Quality of Life rights (this comparison is calculated using the 'Income adjusted' benchmark)," the report said.
For the Safety from the State category – which is how well the Samoa Government is respecting its citizen's right to freedom from arbitrary arrest, forced disappearance, death penalty, extrajudicial execution and torture and ill-treatment – the initiative gave a score of 8.0 out of 10 which the report suggested indicates most people are safe.
"Samoa's Safety from the State score of 8.0 out of 10 suggests that while most people are safe from government abuse, some may have experienced one or more of the following: arbitrary arrest, torture and ill-treatment, forced disappearance, execution or extrajudicial killing," stated the report.
"Compared with the other countries in the Pacific, Samoa is performing close to average on the right to be safe from the state."
As for the Empowerment category – which is how well the Samoa Government is respecting each citizen's right to assembly and association, opinion and expression, and participation in government – the initiative gave a score of 5.1 out of 10 which the report said suggests that many citizens are not enjoying their civil liberties and political freedoms.
"Samoa's Empowerment score of 5.1 out of 10 suggests that many people are not enjoying their civil liberties and political freedoms (freedom of speech, assembly and association, and democratic rights).
"Compared with the other countries in the Pacific, Samoa is performing worse than average on empowerment rights."
According to the HRMI website, until now, the human rights performance of countries has not been comprehensively measured. The Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI, pronounced ‘her-me’) is filling this gap with robustly designed research and analysis. HRMI is an independent, global research collective, funded by grants and donations.
It is not an advocacy organisation. It exists to amplify the voices of human rights defenders by providing reliable, cross-nationally-comparable human rights data for civil society, researchers, and states to use to improve the lives of people around the world.
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