Failure of families, villages blamed
The growing incidents of prostitution in Samoa – among a host of other social problems – is the result of a failing society. Family and village values have eroded and people have lost their identity.
That’s the view of a keen advocate for the rights of women and children, Va’asilifiti Moelagi Jackson. “I understand that most of the women who are in this form of occupation are those who have left their homes and villages,” Va’asilifiti said.
“This is where the fono of Ali’i ma Faipule should come in. They must take responsibility and report to the government who is missing.” Two cases involving alleged prostitution have been publicised and are currently before the Court.
“People have moved away from the Bible, the village and family values and this is another reason why they are out there making money through these activities.”
She said another major problem seen today is that the young people no longer have respect for their elders. “In our day, we knew where we stood and what our responsibilities were.
Today parents are afraid to advise and discipline their children and as a result, the children no longer respect them in return.” Education has not provided a solution to the problems faced by the young, she said.
“There is strong evidence that there are so many young people in the Year 8 level who fail and so the question is where do these young people go to?”
She said the government should consider another option for those ‘who fail and are not progressing’ so that they are provided with an avenue that can help them find some place in society that is not prostitution. “I understand that most of the women who are in this form of occupation are those who have left their homes and villages.
“This is where the fono of Alii and Faipule should come in,” she said.
“They must take responsibility and report to the government who is missing.” Pressure of contributing in the village is also a factor, says Va’asilifiti. She claims that the migration by people into the urban areas is because of the many contributions in village committees and aualumas that include monetary donations for certain events.
“What they should do is allow these young women to take part in the village events and work but that there should be no monetary donations to be given by them.”