New labour bill proposes severe penalty on force labour crimes


The FAST Administration is proposing severe penalties on forced labour crimes, in the Country under the Labour and Employment Relations Act 2022 a $30,000 tala fine and or 14 years in jail. 

Under the current Act a person must not exact, procure, or employ forced labour and it means all involuntary work or service undertaken by an employee or person seeking employment under the threat of a penalty or punishment, such as the following:
(a) work or service is undertaken in accordance with compulsory military service for work of a purely military character;

(b) a work or service which forms part of the normal service of a person towards his or her family, church or village;

(c) work or service undertaken by a person as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law provided that the work or service is carried out under the supervision and control of a public authority and that the person is not hired or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations;

(d) work or service is undertaken in cases of emergency, such as war, or a calamity or threatened calamity such as fire, flood, famine, earthquake, violent epidemic or epizootic diseases, invasion by an animal, insect or vegetable pests, and in general a circumstance that would endanger the existence or well-being of the whole or part of the population of Samoa.

The measure was approved in the first reading in Parliament today.

The FAST Administration is proposing to increase the penalty from to $30,000 fine and or imprisonment term of up to 14 years.