FIJI remains a potential transit area for human traffiicking because of its role as a regional transportation hub. In their submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva last month, Fiji defended its record on trafficking and exploitation of prostitution, including tracking victims of trafficking, their rescue and protection.
Fiji has told CEDAW it has solid prosecution and antitrafficking laws in place which are reflected specifically in the Crimes Act 2009 under Section 111 to 121 titled, “Trafficking in Persons and Children.”
“It not only looks at international trafficking but domestic trafficking too. Harsher penalties are in place under this legislation with a minimal of 12 years and maximum of 25 years imprisonment for offenders,” the Fiji response said. Four branches of law enforcement and two NGO’s have a working relationship to identify victims of trafficking.
The Department of Social Welfare, Homes of Hope, Pacific Dialogue, Department of Immigration, the Police Human Trafficking Unit, and the Fiji Police Force Transnational Crimes Unit are the frontrunners in keeping a tab on domestic and international trafficking of persons.
“The National Plan of Action Eradicating Trafficking has provisions of temporary visas, temporary work permits, and safe-home for victims during the investigation period,” CEDAW was told.
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