Graphic: Staff of the Office of the Ombudsman of Samoa
The Office of the Ombudsman was admitted as an associate member of the APF in 2013 (18th Annual Meeting). It became a full member in 2016 following an accreditation decision of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions.
The Ombudsman of Samoa was originally established by the Komesina o Sulufaiga (Ombudsman) Act of 1988. The Act was amended in May 2013 to incorporate the functions of a national human rights institution.
Objectives and mandate
The Act specifies that the objectives of the Ombudsman are:
(a) to promote transparency, accountability and integrity in the administration and decision making of Ministries and organisations;
(b) to promote and protect the dignity of humankind enshrined in the Constitution, international human rights law, as the foundation of a fair, just and peaceful society".
The Ombudsman's mandate is specified in Part 4, Division 1 of the Act and includes broad powers to promote and protect rights.
The provision closely follows the requirements established in section A of the Paris Principles, and also includes a broad power to do "anything incidental or conducive to the performance of any . . . other human rights functions under this Act."
Human rights are defined in section 2 to include any rights contained in:
(a) Part II of the Constitution and other laws of Samoa
(b) customary international law
(c) treaties and conventions listed in Schedule 1.
Ms Luamanuvao Katalaina Sapolu
Mr Maualaivao Pepe Seiuli
- Staff of the Office of the Ombudsman of Samoa - APF/Steve Percival