Samoa to develop a National Prevention Framework through Spotlight Initiative.
11 October 2021
The Framework will also guide the administration and spending of the $1 million tala allocated under the National Budget to fund all Gender-Based Violence (GBV)
The development of a framework to strategically guide the planning and delivery of all efforts to prevent and end all forms of violence that affects every woman and girl in Samoa, is a crucial task taken up by the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development (MWCSD), with the strong backing of the European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN) Spotlight Initiative global programme.
The Minister of MWCSD, Honorable Leota Laki Lamositele in officiating the start of this crucial undertaking said, that “the National Prevention Framework is a whole of Samoa Framework that must be informed by the realities and lived experiences of our people to find the most immediate and long-term solutions to ending violence targeting our women and girl.”
He added that the Framework will also guide the administration and spending of the $1 million tala allocated under the National Budget to fund all Gender Based Violence (GBV) efforts through community led and owned Action Plans and solutions.
“This is also a contributing mechanism to the Governments development efforts at district level for the next 5 years.”
The move by the MWCSD to develop the Framework is timely and crucial considering the high economic cost and the severity of this issue.
“The economic costs of family violence is estimated to be between $98m and $132m, which is approximately 6 to 7% of our GDP,” the Minister referred to the Findings of the Samoa Family Safety Study in 2017.
Hon. Leota Laki made an urgent call to the people of Samoa - the church and traditional leaders, parents, youth, women’s movement, academics and researchers, and survivors to have their say and share their ideas on how Samoa can design a robust and effective Framework.
He acknowledged the support and the crucial role of the newly established Prevention Technical Working Group made of experts and advocates of Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, who will provide oversight, validate and monitor the progress of activities in the planning and implementation phases of the National Prevention Framework.
The Co-Chair of the Prevention Technical Working Group Autagavaia Olive Kaio Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the MWCSD said that the Prevention Technical Working Group is an expert group comprised of key actors and decision-makers working in a multi-sector multi-layered approach to ending violence against women and girls. It will provide high-level oversight and act as a forum to better coordinate and facilitate the prevention framework design, development and implementation.”
The Minister for the Ministry for Police, Prisons and Corrections (MPPC), Honorable Lefau Harry Schuster who joined Hon. Leota Laki at the media event to launch the development of the Framework said that while the Family Safety Act 2013 emphasizes the role of the Ministry of Police in family violence, the safety of everyone including women and children, from all forms of violence is a paramount function of the Ministry.
He added that the Framework will be a very useful tool for the Police to strategize and design their own prevention programmes to contribute to national efforts to ending violence.
Mailo Helen Tanielu who represented the Spotlight Initiative Civil Society Organisations National Reference Group as another member of the panel also spoke on the crucial role that the NRG plays in advocating and in monitoring all activities towards ending violence against women and girls, to ensure they are relevant and are impactful.
The process of development of the Samoa National Prevention Framework is being funded by the Spotlight Initiative.
The Spotlight Initiative (SI) is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030 and it is being implemented in Samoa through a tripartite partnership between the Government of Samoa, UN agencies and Civil Society Organizations.
Silvio Lazzari on behalf of the EU extended gratitude to the MWCSD for their commitment to lead the development of the National Prevention Framework.
The UN Resident Coordinator Simona Marinescu also reaffirms the support of the UN agencies implementing the Spotlight Initiative towards the Government of Samoa and all the partners that are involved in the development of the Framework.
Sandra Bernklau, the Office Representative of the UN Women Multi-Country Office in Fiji, that is working closely with the MWCSD in the development of the Framework, acknowledges the partners and donors’ support that had led to the commencement of work on the Framework, it is a great achievement for Samoa.
Hon. Leota Laki expressed the political support and commitment to complete the Samoa National Prevention Framework for EVAWG by December with consequent well-resourced and sustainable Action Plans to follow putting to practice the priorities in the Framework.
“This is only the beginning, I invite other sectors, youth leaders, church leaders, community champions, development partners and stakeholders to work together in a concerted effort and with a coordinated and coherent approach for transformative change in Samoa. Ending violence against women and girls is everyone’s responsibility” Hon. Leota Laki said.