Beating the Traffickers in the Solomon Islands

Posted: 
05/20/16

Solomon Islands - As the Government of the Solomon Islands increases its focus on human trafficking, IOM is assisting the local Immigration Division with a series of training workshops in the subject. The latest was at Taro, Choiseul Province from 10-12 May.

It followed last month’s training in Malaita Province and was the third in a series of provincial trainings to be rolled out over the course of the current project, funded by the US Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

The training was officially opened by Hon. Alpha Kimata, Deputy Premier of Choiseul Province, who emphasized the importance of the training, particularly given Choiseul’s strategic geographic position, as well as the large number of logging camps in operation in the Province.

Christopher Akosawa, Chief Immigration Officer of the Enforcement Unit and Chair of the Trafficking in Persons Advisory Committee (TIPAC) noted that “addressing human trafficking in Solomon Islands is complex. The country is spread over hundreds of islands where we are confronted with both internal and transnational trafficking for sexual and labour exploitation.”

The training in Taro aimed to equip law enforcement and other key stakeholders with the knowledge and skills to identify victims of trafficking and to ensure a stronger protection framework which would offer victims access to psychosocial support. The training also sought to contribute to the enforcement of the Solomon Islands Immigration Act, which criminalizes human trafficking,

Nicole Hoagland, IOM Head of Office and Programme Coordinator, said: “A comprehensive and coordinated approach to address trafficking is required, alongside recognition of the actual crime by law enforcement, local communities and service providers. Everyone has a role to play in preventing and responding to human trafficking in Solomon Islands. These provincial trainings are just the start.”

Approximately 20 participants joined the event, including representatives from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Customs and Excise, Social Welfare Division, Forestry Division and Save the Children, as well as faith-based organizations.

For further information please contact Nicole Hoagland, IOM Solomon Islands. Tel: +67722536, Email: nhoagland@iom.int                

Participants perform a roleplay, simulating an investigation and rescue operation.