Human trafficking on sharp rise in the country


The report stated that most victims were children and young females. Photo: Radio NZ                          

Solomon Islands children and young girls are continuously subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour, a report on human trafficking and People smuggling revealed.

The report conducted by the United States Department was released July this year.

The report said, local children were forced to do  labour or commercial marriages in exchange for money or goods, particularly near foreign logging camps, on foreign and local fishing vessels, and at hotels and entertainment establishments.

In a exclusive interview with SIBC about the report, Chief Immigration officer Christopher Akosawa said girls and young women were recruited to travel to logging camps for domestic work and were subsequently exploited in prostitution.

Mr Akosawa said the logging, fishing and mining industry were creating booming avenues for human trafficking.

“So throughout the country we are experiencing a lot of cases where the communities and especially our girls too are not aware of these issues and become vulnerable to commercial marriages,” he said.

“They think or expect that the people who come into the country have money so they think of marrying them, but later on they leave the country leaving behind the children they produced.”

Mr Akosawa warned, parents need to be aware of these emerging issues.

“Try to support our young people especially at this point of time where situation in money and demands, ” he said.

“Most of these perpetrators are targeting those who are vulnerable especially in situations where we have problems with money and high demand on material things, to be on the loo out because is has become a problem at this time.”

Meanwhile, the report stated the Government was making significant efforts to meet the minimum standards to eliminate human trafficking.

It said the Government currently does not meet the minimum standards, but it has demonstrated increasing efforts amending its legal framework to prohibit all forms of trafficking , implementing new victim identification procedures, and dedicating resources for the provision of food and shelter for victims.

Mr Akosawa said the Government is committed to tackling an anti-trafficking action plan for this year and 2018.




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