Trafficking, one of the worst forms of violence

From left (Australian Border Force assistant director Nina Wu, Australian Federal Police detective superintendent senior liaison officer Glen Fisher with Australian Border Force rep Laura Comensoli. Picture: Luke Nacei.

TRAFFICKING is one of the worst forms of violence against women and girls who are used for sexual exploitation and forced labour, says Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Minister Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

While officiating during the National Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation workshop at the Naviti Resort in Sigatoka yesterday, Mrs Vuniwaqa said trafficking in persons was a crime against humanity that crossed international borders.

Mrs Vuniwaqa said human trafficking had become a prevalent and fast growing transnational organised crime and the second largest illegal trade, generating over $150 billion a year as reported by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

She said the ratification of the Palermo Convention provided a great opportunity to turn what has largely been a national conversation with ad hoc responses into a more inclusive, co-ordinated and collaborative national effort to address human trafficking.

“It is time that we took stock of what we have on the ground and to plug the loopholes we have in our national policies, laws, strategies and actional plans to ensure that our efforts are consistent and co-ordinated,” she said.

Mrs Vuniwaqa said it was critical that the lead agency takes ownership of this issue and spearheads all national efforts.

“Your contribution to achieving the objectives of this workshop is crucial as you are experts in your respective areas of responsibilities.

“I encourage you to engage in constructive discussions, share your opinions and best practices,” she said.

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