Consensual same-sex relations between adults are criminalised in Samoa under the Crimes Act, 2013. Though there is no legal recognition of transgender or intersex rights, they are not criminalised. In fact, in May 2013, Samoa repealed criminal provisions that prohibited males “impersonating” females. This law, the Crimes Ordinance 1961, which was repealed by the Crimes Act, 2013, was used to target transgender women and other gender-diverse people.
Samoa supported the 2011 UN Human Rights Council Joint Statement to end acts of violence based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity; and in 2016, during its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR), noted recommendations to decriminalise consensual same-sex activity between adults and to protect and prohibit discrimination against LGBT persons.
The last State party report was submitted in 2017 and contained no LBTI specific information.
The CEDAW Committee provided no SOGIESC-focused recommendations to Samoa, despite it being the only state amongst the 54 Commonwealth States that had an LBTI-inclusive List of Issues.
The List of Issues asked the State Party to provide data on gender-based violence against LBT women and intersex people, disaggregated by sex, age, nationality, geographic location, and relationships between the victim and perpetrator; and to submit more information on the situation of certain marginalised groups of women, including LBTI people and whether specific measures have been adopted to address intersectional forms of discrimination against them.
Despite these questions raised in the List of Issues, the Committee did not provide any rights-affirming recommendations for LBTI people. One of the reasons could be that there were no LBTI-inclusive civil society submissions.