Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Samoa Youth Parliamentarians Warn Against Mobile Phone Abuse
Encourages parents to monitor children’s usage

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Dec. 7, 2012) – The Youth Parliamentary session today focused on the impact of mobile phones in the lives of the youth and the message to parents was to monitor and control and be interested in their children’s use of mobile phones.

Divided into two political parties, Vaimauga and Faleata, both parties agreed that mobile phones have created alot of problems for many young people despite it’s advantages. The young parliamentarians warned parents to monitor the kind of programmes downloaded by their children from the internet and how long the children spent on mobile phones.

Parents ignorance and irresponsibility to take note of what transpires in their children’s lives was also addressed.

The Vaimauga team argued that not only parents are responsible but the schools, churches and village councils in monitoring young peoples use of mobile phones. They believe that laws should be passed to guide the youth from certain programmes they could access. Another suggestion is for mobile phone providers to limit the programmes given to the youths especially on the internet usage.

The Young Parliamentarians programme is coordinated by the Ministry of Women, Social Community Development.

Selecting mobile phones as this years issue for debate was due to the many complaints and problems from young peoples use of mobile phones. The Youth Parliament was part of the activities for this years National Youth Week.

The report of the youth parliamentarian session will be documented and handed over to the Associate Minister of MWSCD.

The week long programme also saw the involvement of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Police and Prisons, Office of the Attorney General, Samoa Law Reform and many other Ministries and organizations.

The Ministry of Police and the office of the AG drew a large group of young people who were interested to know and understand about the law.

Police Inspector Keti spoke on domestic violence and its effect on a family and community. He also pointed out that most of the couples involved in domestic problems only knew each other for a short period then married. "These couples met either in a night club or a game then hook up before taking time to know each other first."

His advice is to understand your friend before taking the next step.

He supports the initiative by the Ministry to address the issue of mobile phones. He referred to an incident where a young girl used the phone to film herself for personal use, but ended up being circulated to many mobile phone users.

"This kind of abuse should never have happened," according to the Inspector.

Copyright 2012 Talamua. All Rights Reserved

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