Samoa Ombudsman Luamanuvao Katalaina Sapolu said the human rights effects of the covid-19 pandemic have been catastrophic.
It has just submitted to Parliament the eighth report on the state of human rights in Samoa.
Luamanuvao said that over the past two years, families have lost loved ones, businesses have suffered, the unemployment rate has risen and freedom of movement has been restricted.
She said there has also been a serious impact on children’s right to education and the right to health continues to be challenged with stretched resources.
But she said human rights principles continued to play an important role in addressing discrimination and inequality and in including everyone in preventing and recovering from covid-19.
The report provided an analysis of the impact of the pandemic and government measures on the rights and freedoms of Samoans, particularly on the most vulnerable groups.
The report also included recommendations to the government to ensure that its measures against covid-19 were in line with the constitution, national laws and policies to protect human rights, as well as Samoa’s international obligations in matters of human rights.
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