10 Jun 2016

More protection of child rights needed in Samoa - UN

2:18 pm on 10 June 2016
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Photo: RNZI Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

More protection is needed for the rights of children in Samoa according to a UN committee reviewing Samoa in Geneva this week.

Prohibiting corporal punishment in homes, raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility from ten, prohibiting parents and guardians from using children as street vendors and introducing compulsory free universal primary education are some of the main recommendations in the report.

Samoa was commended for this year ratifiying or acceding to several optional protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the involvement of children in child conflict.

The committee also acknowledged the passing of the Family Safety Act and Young Offenders Act.

But it was urging Samoa to increase its efforts to adopt other important pieces of legislation such as the proposed Child Care and Protection Bill.

The report also recommended Samoa mainstream children's issues raised by the National Council for the Convention on the Rights of the Child and calls for an increased human, technical and financial resources to the council and the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development.