Fiji Vulnerable To Human Trafficking, ‘Illegal Migration’

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Immigration director relays need for training, resources

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, April 9, 2013) – Fiji being the hub of the Pacific will always be vulnerable to illegal migration, human trafficking smuggling of persons and other related transnational crimes, participants at the 5th Bali Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime heard yesterday.

The Department of Immigration director Nemani Vuniwaqa relayed these challenges and said we must ensure that our border protection officers are trained and equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to tackle issues regarding people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crime.

"As a hub, Fiji is vulnerable to such illegal migration both as a receiving and transit destination country," he said.

Vuniwaqa highlighted that Fiji noted and acknowledged the Bali process, other regional organizations such as the Pacific Immigration Directors’ Conference (PIDC), training institutions like the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) and the many training opportunities, workshops, technical officers capacity building programs organized and conducted by Australia and New Zealand in 2011 and 2012.

He said for Fiji, stakeholders had continuously organized similar workshops at national level, to better address this issue of protecting our borders from transnational crimes.

"Local stakeholders continue to hold workshops and seminars as a strategy to raise awareness amongst the respective stakeholders and members of the public alike," he said.

The director added the National Plan of Action for the prevention of trafficking in persons and commercial exploitation of children 2011 was drawn up as a national document to show Fiji’s commitment in identifying and prosecuting traffickers and most importantly providing support to victims.

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