Infidelity is an issue among Samoa RSE workers says NGO

As Samoa's government reviews its RSE scheme in New Zealand and Australia, a local NGO says that 'infidelity' is one of the issues within the scheme causing family members to seek social support.

Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) spokesperson Pepe Tevaga said while the scheme has benefitted many Samoan families, in some cases, couples have had to separate as husbands have taken another wife while both were working abroad on the RSE scheme.

As a result, jilted women have applied to the courts in Samoa for maintenance support for themselves and their children.

Ms Tevaga said the women are usually unemployed and most live with their in-laws in Samoa while the husband works under the RSE scheme.

Once the husband confirms his new relationship, the former wife is forced to leave the husband's family, especially if the husband returns with a new partner to stay with his family.

Women have also sought counselling as some have been suicidal.

Ms Tevaga said children from broken families have been in the care of their shelters while their mothers look for work.

From SVSG's perspective, the whole RSE process, from local recruitment of workers to medical checks, to character checks, to pre-departure orientation and ongoing workers support overseas; requires improvement and system strengthening.

This will ensure that families taking up the opportunity to work under the RSE scheme will prevent their remaining family members to go through social hardships.