Workshop: Interagency Essential Services Guideline

Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Survivors of family violence in Samoa will soon have better access to more coordinated support services. To improve services, the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development (MWCSD) is leading the development of Samoa’s first Interagency Essential Services Guideline, in partnership with UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO). Funding for the Guideline is through the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership) supported by the European Union and Australian Government with cost-sharing from UN Women. To start the project, from this week the Ministry is hosting a series of workshops supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Women Fiji MCO, through the Pacific Partnership.

Following is the joint media release from the Samoa Ministry of Women Community and Social Development (MWCSD), and on behalf of UN Women Fiji MCO.

Courtesy of the Government of Samoa

The Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (MWCSD) is leading discussions to develop an Interagency Essential Services Guideline in an effort to strengthen Government’s coordinated response to assist victims of gender-based violence. This is part of MWCSD’s “Aiga Saogalemu Campaign” to reduce the prevalence of Gender-Based Violence. In partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO), a training workshop targeting the participation and contributions by professionals at the forefront of service delivery will be held on the 2nd& 3rd April, 2019 at the Sheraton Hotel, Apia: Samoa. 

The workshop will be the first of multiple discussions amongst Government ministries and agencies, Non-Government and Civil Society organizations who have undertaken related work in the area or have had specific mandates to perform, when cases of violence within the homes are reported. Senior representatives are invited, in addition to key personnel from the Samoa Police Service, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Office of the Ombudsman and National Human Rights Institution. Equally significant in this process is the expansion of discussions to include representatives from Samoa’s villages/communities, as a mechanism to ensure the concept and operation of a coordinated system of response is understood and supported by the communities it serves.

The workshop supports the implementation of the policy & strategy to prevent violence within our homes and complements MWCSD’s wider efforts to formalize a Care & Protection Framework to support children deemed at risk. The development of an Interagency Guideline will further support existing response systems and processes pertaining to cases of gender-based violence affecting women and children, speculated under the Samoa Family Safety Act 2013. Moreover, the development of the Interagency Essential Services Guideline is part of a regional initiative to address family violence through the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership) funded by the European Union and Australian Government with support from UN Women. To help develop the Guideline, a series of workshops is being supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Women Fiji MCO as part of their regional programmes, respectively the Transformative Agenda and the Pacific Partnership. Other organisations involved in the workshop series and the drafting of the Guideline include UNICEF, which will join UN Women and UNFPA to provide technical assistance, and some Pacific Partnership partners. 

Samoa’s commitment to a needs-based and survivor centred approach to addressing gender based violence remains firm and will continue its efforts to engage all relevant community, NGO, CSO, Government and donor partners to strength Samoa’s systems, processes and guiding protocol to achieve a Safer Samoa for all. We acknowledge the continuous support of the Pacific Partnership to bring together governments and relevant partners, to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls in addition to; increasing access and improving the quality of response services for victims and survivors of family violence.

Media Enquiries (Points of Contact):

Su’a Mateiliili Tautalagia (Mr)
Principal Communication Officer – Communication Unit
Division for Research, Policy, Planning & Information Processing.
Ministry of Women, Community & Social Development
Email: mtautalagia@mwcsd.gov.ws
Phone: +685 – 27752 or +685 – 27753
Address: Tooa Salamasina Hall, Sogi, Apia: Samoa
P.O Box: MWCSD, Private Bag, Apia: Samoa

Elize Steynberg (Ms)
Communications Advisor – Communication Unit
Division for Research, Policy, Planning & Information Processing.
Ministry of Women, Community & Social Development
Email: esteynberg@mwcsd.gov.ws
Phone: +685 – 27752 or +685 – 27753
Address: Tooa Salamasina Hall, Sogi, Apia: Samoa
P.O Box: MWCSD, Private Bag, Apia: Samoa