The Ministry together with the International Organization for Migration hosted the commemoration of the United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Person on Thursday (30th July) at the Holiday Inn Suva.
The Head of the European Union Delegation to the Pacific, His Excellency Mr. Sujiro Seam and the Permanent Secretary for Defence, National Security and Policing, Mr Manasa Lesuma officiated at the event. The commemoration event also saw the launching of an IOM and Homes of Hope Project called ‘Empowering Fijian Civil Society in Countering Trafficking in Human Beings’ which is being co-funded by the European Union.
The Permanent Secretary (PS) in his opening remark acknowledged our international partners who have greatly supported the efforts of combating all forms of human trafficking particularly, the International Organisation for Migration for supporting the Ministry in organizing this very important event and for partnering with Fijian CSO Homes of Hope to providing housing assistance to victims of trafficking.
PS Lesuma further highlighted that ‘Human trafficking is a global problem and as such no country is immune to it; whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims who are lured by fake promises and deceit. It is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes such as sex exploitation, modern slavery, forced labour and many more heinous acts. Human trafficking not only happens trans nationally but also domestically’.
The international commemoration day was a two part event where the National Human Trafficking Working Group was also convened to finalize two critical policy documents that they have been compiling before presenting to their Permanent Secretaries later in the afternoon.
The workshop was formally closed by the Acting Commissioner of Police Mr Rusiate Tudravu who highlighted that ‘We must do better to prevent trafficking in persons by addressing what drives it. Moreover, to see collaborative efforts being taken to address this issue. We must continue to strengthen out partnerships among governmental institutions, the private sector, academic institutions, the media, civil society, and faith-based organizations to eradicate trafficking and rehabilitate victims.’