Samoa

Samoa was the first Pacific Island State to secure the right to self-determination and independence in Oceania during the 20th century (1962).[1] Samoa’s population is estimated at 198,414 people.[2] The demographics of Samoa are: Samoan 96%, Euronesians 2% (persons of European and Polynesian ancestry), and other 1.9%.[3] Through decades of direct action in non-violent protest via the Mau movement, combined with repeated delegations to the League of Nations and later the United Nations, and in the face of violent oppression, the Indigenous Peoples of Samoa secured a seat at the United Nations as a full member in 1976.[4] Samoa originally abstained in the vote to adopt the UNDRIP in 2007; however, they have since expressed their support.[5]

When Samoa achieved its independence, it created a modern nation state upholding the rule of law. However, Samoa retained the fa’a Samoa (traditional culture) in political structures and in its Constitution. Matai (traditional chiefs) are able to stand for election to the Fono (unicameral parliament). The Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) has been in power since 1982 and has supported specific steps towards universal values of equality. Universal suffrage was introduced in 1990, granting women the right to vote for the first time. In 2013, the Constitution was amended guaranteeing women five seats in the Fono. The Komesina o Sulufaiga(Ombudsman) Act 2013 expanded the mandate of the Komesina o Sulufaiga Act from 1989 onwards to include the National Human Rights Institution of Samoa (NHRI). The independent institution was given three main functions: good governance, human rights and a special investigation unit.

The Indigenous World 2021: Samoa

Samoa was the first Pacific Island State to secure the right to self-determination and independence in Oceania during the 20th century (1962).[1] Samoa’s population is estimated at 198,414 people.[2] The demographics of Samoa are: Samoan 96%, Euronesians 2% (persons of European and Polynesian ancestry), and other 1.9%.[3] Through decades of direct action in non-violent protest via the Mau movement, combined with repeated delegations to the League of Nations and later the United Nations, and in the face of violent oppression, the Indigenous Peoples of Samoa secured a seat at the United Nations as a full member in 1976.[4] Samoa originally abstained in the vote to adopt the UNDRIP in 2007; however, they have since expressed their support.[5]

When Samoa achieved its independence, it created a modern nation state upholding the rule of law. However, Samoa retained the fa’a Samoa (traditional culture) in political structures and in its Constitution. Matai (traditional chiefs) are able to stand for election to the Fono (unicameral parliament). The Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) has been in power since 1982 and has supported specific steps towards universal values of equality. Universal suffrage was introduced in 1990, granting women the right to vote for the first time. In 2013, the Constitution was amended guaranteeing women five seats in the Fono. The Komesina o Sulufaiga(Ombudsman) Act 2013 expanded the mandate of the Komesina o Sulufaiga Act from 1989 onwards to include the National Human Rights Institution of Samoa (NHRI). The independent institution was given three main functions: good governance, human rights and a special investigation unit.

Continue Reading

STAY CONNECTED

About IWGIA

IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. Read The Indigenous World.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Contact IWGIA

Prinsessegade 29 B, 3rd floor
DK 1422 Copenhagen
Denmark
Phone: (+45) 53 73 28 30
E-mail: iwgia@iwgia.org
CVR: 81294410

Report possible misconduct, fraud, or corruption

NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

If you do not change browser settings, you agree to it. Learn more

I understand