Samoa Ombudsman addresses gender-based violence through family safety pilot project in six villages

06 October 2021

Last year, the Samoa Office of the Ombudsman and also the National Human Rights Commission of Samoa (the Ombudsman) launched the Village Family Safety Committee Pilot Project in response to a national inquiry into family violence in Samoa. To date, the Ombudsman has engaged with six villages to establish safety committees from within the community.  It continues to work with the committees to develop a plan aimed at reducing family violence in each village.

In a press statement, the Ombudsman said:

The Village Family Safety Committee Pilot Project heavily takes on a community strength-based
approach where building on the existing capacity of villagers is important and equipping them
with knowledge and skills to take on this matter can, as a result, have a greater impact

Family Safety Committee members from the village of Lotopue smiling for a photo with their certificates of completionFamily Safety Committee members smiling for a photo in a room with programme booklets, surrounded by pull-up banners showing the UN Spotlight Initiative logo

The activities included in each village’s plan to address family violence cover issues such as:

  • raising awareness on triggers of violence
  • building capacity for committee members in areas such as basic counselling and leadership
  • reviewing bylaws to strengthen family violence laws
  • regular visits to at-risk families

The Ombudsman is working with a number of NGOs and government agencies to deliver these activities, such as UN Women and the Spotlight Initiative by UNDP, and is halfway through its implementation. Monitoring and evaluation on progress so far will take place at the end of 2021 and it is expected that village committees will take over implementation of any remaining activities thereafter.

Read more about the Village Family Safety Commitee Pilot Project on the Ombudman’s website.

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