Logging Industry in Solomon Islands Puts Women, Girls at Risk: IOM
Honiara – A research report commissioned by the Solomon Islands Ministry for Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has found that logging operations and related mobility dynamics, combined with pre-existing localized factors, create risks of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and forced marriage for local women and girls.
Solomon Islands Minister for Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs Freda Belinda Adeline Tuki launched the report: “Community Health and Mobility in the Pacific: Solomon Islands Case study,” in the capital, Honiara, last week.
The dynamics created by logging camps in remote areas, combined with limited industry accountability and few formal protective policies, as well as restricted access to service provision and protective services, leads to an environment where the drivers of vulnerability can go unchecked, according to the research.
Minister Tuki says the report and its recommendations will be used to inform policies and programmes that will be implemented to improve the situation for women and children in the Solomon Islands, particularly those impacted negatively by logging operations.
“MWYCFA will work with all stakeholders, communities, chiefs, representatives of organizations supporting women and girls, and the whole Government of Solomon Islands, to respond to the findings of this report,” she said.
“One finding of the research shows that community members are still reluctant to report forms of gender-based violence such as forced marriage and human trafficking to the police. A key area for partnership can be working together to address potential barriers to reporting these crimes,” she added.
The report, which can be downloaded at https://publications.iom.int/books/community-health-and-mobility-pacific..., was funded as part of a USD 300,000 regional project supported by the IOM Development Fund. Additional information can be found at: http://www.mwycfa.gov.sb/.
IOM is currently also implementing a related project to increase community awareness of human trafficking and gender-based violence in the Solomon Islands through a EUR 600,000 project: “Protecting the Rights of Women and Children, Particularly Girls, in Migration-Affected Communities.”
The project, which has a particular focus on communities affected by logging and extractive industries, is supported by the European Union and co-funded by the IOM Development Fund.
For more information please contact Angelica Neville at IOM Honiara. Tel: +677 22536. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org