CSOs prepare for 3rd Universal Periodic Review Reporting for Samoa

The Office of the Ombudsman which is also Samoa’s National Human Rights Institution in collaboration with SPC-RRRT and the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights in Fiji hosted a capacity building workshop for Civil Society Organizations’ in Apia.

The workshop held last Friday was aimed at refreshing and raising awareness among CSOs in Samoa about the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (HRC) upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and provide guidance to CSOs in preparing and compiling their submissions or shadow reports to the UPR.

Director of Human Rights Loukinini Vili-Lewaravu said it was an opportunity for CSOs to discuss best practices and better understand their involvement in the UPR process.

“It is important to bring CSOs together remind them of the crucial role they contribute to the reviewing process of Samoa and discuss options for submitting alternative/submissions reports to the UPR in order for them to highlight their issues in the most effective way. Ms. Vili-Lewaravu said.

Ashley Bowe, Human Rights Adviser to the Pacific Community comments on the importance of updating CSOs on best practices and technical guidelines on report structures that are recommended by UN experts”

“It is always helpful to share experiences from the process - the challenges and best practices as well as being familiar with reporting guidelines. SPC commends the NHRI of Samoa in assisting CSOs with their drafting and ensuring there continues to be a greater representation of CSOs in these UN processes”. Mr. Ashley Bowe said.

CSOs in Samoa have been invited to submit shadow submission reports to the UPR by March 25, 2021.

The UPR is a unique process that involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. It is a state-driven process that provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfill their human rights obligations.

Samoa’s third UPR is scheduled for November 2021.

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