UN CRC forum hosted by Ombudsman office, applauded by Justice Nelson


Supreme Court Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson says the forum to raise awareness on the mandates of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is a great opportunity for people to gain a greater understanding of how it works, particularly in relation to Samoa. 

The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the body of 18 independent experts that monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its States parties.

Samoa’s representative to the CRC is Justice Nelson. His honour was re-elected to the Committee on the Rights of the Child [CRC] for a further 4-year term in 2018 at the 17th meeting of the States Parties of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) held at UN Headquarters, New York. 

The CRC monitors the implementation of the Optional Protocols to the Convention, on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography.

The forum hosted by the Office of the Ombudsman will take place tomorrow at the TATTE building, where the participants will hear firsthand from Justice Nelson. 

The Supreme Court Justice told RadioPolynesia, that he hopes to shed light on the CRC’s importance to Samoan and Pacific representation in these UN Treaty Bodies. 

“Also great opportunity to discourse with children on issues important to their lives. and I applaud the Ombudsman office for taking the initiative on such significant social issues.” 

The program for the forum says it hopes to increase awareness of rights (and responsibilities) contained in the CRC, associated challenges, and the role of the State; also raise awareness of the CRC treaty body reporting process and how children and young people can effectively participate. 

Furthermore to consult and gather views on the impact of COVID-19 on the rights of children in Samoa (including economic, social, and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights) and also discuss and identify priority areas in which children and young people would like to include in an alternative submission to the CRC Committee and for the State to focus on in safeguarding the rights of children in Samoa. 

With the hopes to gain views and feedback on human rights issues and challenges resulting from COVID-19 identified and priorities and recommendations are safeguarding Samoan children’s rights identified for CRC reporting, including initial draft language on a youth submission to the Committee, and for the State to focus on.