Workshop to Develop New National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking and Smuggling Marks World Day Against Human Trafficking in Solomon Islands
Honiara – Director of Immigration, Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration Mason Fugui, last week opened a workshop to review the National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling 2015-2020 and to develop the National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling 2020-2015.
The Director said: “The review is a helpful process that requires all key stakeholders, law enforcement agencies, and service providers to dialogue and develop collaborative actions and plans that will be supportive of combatting child trafficking, migrant smuggling and sexual and labour exploitation.”
“In the next five years it is important to integrate combatting trafficking in person to existing programme such as Community Policing, Child Protection and gender-based violence programmes,” he added.
The Director also presented on important progress that has already been achieved in Solomon Islands to combat trafficking in persons, particularly in the areas of awareness raising, research and legislation in collaboration with key development partners including the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
As a tangible outcome of the workshop a new National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling 2020-2015 will be developed. The Anti-Human Trafficking Advisory Committee (AHTAC) will be the key coordinating body responsible for implementing the plan, in partnership with law enforcement and service providers.
Notable progress has been made against the 2015-2020 National Action Plan, with the establishment of AHTAC, trainings of law enforcement related, and strengthening of trafficking related legislation.
However, challenges remain; for example, the 2019 Trafficking in Persons report for Solomon Islands highlights that traffickers subject Solomon Islander children to sex trafficking and forced labour within the country, sometimes in exchange for money or goods, particularly near foreign logging camps, on foreign and local commercial fishing vessels, and at hotels, casinos, nightclubs, and other entertainment establishments.
The workshop was organised by the Immigration Division in partnership with IOM. The workshop was supported through the EUR 600,000 project “Protecting the Rights of Women and Children, Particularly Girls, in Migration-Affected Communities” to increase community awareness of human trafficking and gender-based violence in the Solomon Islands. 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.
The workshop was attended by representatives of government and law enforcement including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Ministry of Health and Medical services and Ministry of Forestry and Research. In addition, civil society and development partners were represented including UNICEF, Save the Children, Christian Care Centre and Family Support Centre.
For more information please contact Angelica Neville at IOM Honiara. Email: email@example.com, Tel: +677 22536.