Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Update: 5:56PM Fiji is one of two Pacific Island countries that remain a source country for child trafficking for the purposes of labour and commercial sexual exploitation, says the US State Department's 2009 report on Human Trafficking.
The report, released today by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, noted that Fiji was one of 17 countries whose "governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so".
Papua New Guinea is the other Pacific Island country blacklisted from the 175 nations surveyed.
The report said it was reliably informed by several non-government organisations about crimes related to human trafficking and expressed special concern about child trafficking reports.
It has urged that Fiji develop a national action plan for combating trafficking in persons and that the state, civil society and international organisations work together to combat the sex trafficking of children.
Also among the US State Department's list of recommendations, is for Fiji to "develop and institute a formal procedure to proactively identify victims of trafficking, especially among vulnerable groups such as homeless children and women or children found in prostitution".
At the report's launch earlier today, Mrs Clinton labeled the trafficking of persons for forced labor, sexual exploitation and other illicit purposes as "modern-day" slavery.
She said the annual reports are intended to encourage nations to act where necessary with criticism and the threat of possible U.S. sanctions.