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COVID-19 exacerbates human trafficking threats

February 16, 2021 12:46 pm

Fiji launched it’s first-ever National Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy and revised National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking today.

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Defence, Manasa Lesuma, says the continuing impact of COVID-19 has exacerbated the threats and prevalence of Human Trafficking across the world and in Fiji too.

Lesuma says human trafficking is a worldwide issue and Fiji is not spared from this modern form of slavery.

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“Human trafficking is a multifaceted, complex and dynamic social phenomenon which makes it very difficult to ascertain with certainty its existence and prevalence.”

He says while the formulation of the Strategy and Actions Plan is the first step in addressing the issue, the main challenge is its implementation.

“Only when we do this can we ensure that victims of trafficking are protected and the perpetrators and criminal networks that orchestrate this degrading transnational crime are disrupted, prosecuted and appropriately penalized.”

Lesuma says trafficking in persons, especially involving women affects all countries, regardless of social, political or economic circumstances.

The Permanent Secretary says Fiji will need assistance and support from NGO’s, CSO and other partners to combat human trafficking.

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