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Fiji and the Solomon Islands have been identified as hot spots for prostitution and child trafficking.
This was published in the 2017 United States Trafficking in Persons Report which was shared to the participants of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children session at the International Civil Society Week currently being held in Suva.
The report states the two countries are used as source, transit and final destinations not only for local but also Southeast Asian men and women who were subjected to forced labour and forced prostitution, and local children subjected to sex and labour trafficking.
It also detailed how children were at risk of being sexually abused and exploited, experiences of children who experience parental neglect and abuse and those living without their biological parents.
The report states that sexual violence against children is recognised internationally as the most severe violation of their human rights and the worst form of child abuse and exploitation.
Iris Low-Mckenzie, CEO of the Save the Children’s Fund said perpetrators of the abuse and exploitation were males and typically men with resources or authority in the community.
“Sexual violence against children is a global problem and in recent years there has been increasing concern throughout Pacific countries regarding the incidence and suffering that children here experience,” Mckenzie said.
She said the Pacific region need a holistic, inter-departmental approach to protect children from sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.
“There is a need to strengthen policies, legislation and institutions for child protection as well as to address the lack of services to assist families in need and child victims,” she added.
There is a growing awareness among Pacific Island governments of children’s rights and of the need to protect children from violation of those rights, particularly from sexual abuse and exploitations.
McKenzie believes there needed to be comprehensive, well-resourced and well-planned local, national and regional efforts to address sexual violence against children across the region.
The participants of that workshop discussed ways and opportunities to influence change, to mandate responsible individuals to initiate act to end the sexual violence and exploitation against children.
SOURCE: ISLANDS BUSINES/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media