Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua has acknowledged Fiji’s awareness of the pressing issue of human trafficking.
He highlighted the existence of a national government committee dedicated to addressing this concern, emphasizing Fiji’s commitment as a signatory to the Convention against Human Trafficking.
Tikoduadua is concerned about reports of human trafficking, particularly involving children while admitting uncertainty about the veracity of these stories.
He stresses the need for collaboration, acknowledging Fiji’s limitations in tracking these criminal networks and advocating for partnerships to enhance capabilities.
“I’m hearing these stories but I don’t know how true they are and this something I’ve told the police they really shouldn’t go hard on this, but our biggest problem is that we lack the capability to track these people.”
Despite the challenges, Tikoduadua states that he has urged the government and the public to prioritize the matter over political considerations.
Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua
He emphasizes the global shift of challenges to the Indo-Pacific region, urging a comprehensive understanding of the situation and preparation for its magnitude.
Acknowledging cases where Fijians were misled into trafficking situations, Tikoduadua highlights the dangers present on the internet, emphasizing the exploitation of individuals through online platforms.
Acting Police Commissioner Juki Fong Chew echoed these sentiments, acknowledging the persistent issue of manpower shortage within the force.
“We are obliged to do that, its part and partials of our work and we took oath for it.”
Chew emphasizes the Force’s commitment to managing the situation with the available resources, urging citizens to report incidents without hesitation.