14 year old Samoa boy dies at the hands of his father
Apia, SAMOA — A 14 year old boy from Falevao has died from injuries sustained after his father used a ‘amo’ or tree branch, to beat him.
Responding to questions from Samoa Global News, Deputy Police Commissioner Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti confirmed that a 62 year old male of Falevao and Falefa has been arrested and remains in custody to await his first court appearance later this month.
The boy was admitted admitted to the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital at Mototootua last Thursday 29th October and died five days later, on Tuesday this week.
Head of the Criminal Investigation Division Auapaau Logoitino Filipo says preliminary findings are that a rock hit the back of the boy’s head, and that he was also beaten with a amo.
“Na togi e lona tamā i le maa, tau i le muliulu, toe alu atu sasa i le amo”.
The large stick across the shoulders is a ‘amo’. [photo via Samoa Global News]
Samoa ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in November 1994 and despite a relatively robust legal framework that seeks to protect children from violence, available data indicates that children in Samoa experience violence in several contexts, including within the home, in schools and in the community.
In a 2017 UNICEF situational analysis report on Children in Samoa it is stated that 41% of school children reported being physically hurt by a teacher at school while 77% of parents reported using physical violence to discipline their children.
The Office of the Ombudsman’s National Public Inquiry into Family Violence Report published in 2018 found that, “Physical, harsh verbal discipline, violence and sexual violence towards children has reached epidemic levels”.
During a recent pilot project by the Office of the Ombudsman working in six rural villages across Upolu and Savaii, the use of extreme violence towards children was found to be an established cycle, where parents were themselves beaten, and acted in the only way they knew how, in order to discipline their own children.