US State official here to help combat human trafficking

Any type of situation where the use of force, fraud or coercion is used to exploit someone for profit is human trafficking.

This is according to Reporter and Political Affairs Officer in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S Department of State, Kendra L. Kreider.

Kreider is in Papua New Guinea to meet with stakeholders and learn about human trafficking, causes of trafficking and find ways to help support and minimise this problem.

In a one on one interview with Loop PNG and TV Wan, Kreider indicates that there are a lot of different situations that amount to Human Trafficking but people don’t always understand exactly what the crime is.

She discusses that here in PNG; there is the Criminal Code Amendment of 2013 where Human Trafficking falls under but because it is a new law, there is still need for awareness, education and outreach to make sure that people throughout the country understand the crimes that amount to human trafficking.

“Child prostitution is definitely one form of child trafficking and those are concerns here that sometime parents might receive payment from someone to put their child into commercial sex trade,” says Kreider.

“That is a human trafficking crime under PNG law.”

Kreider says she during her stay in the country, she has learnt a lot about stakeholders in country that are very engaged and committed to this issue.

She noted that there is also a National Human Trafficking Taskforce based here in Port Moresby of which she noticed was not only comprised of the government but non- governmental stakeholders as well.

“There is a lot of important work being done to raise awareness as much as possible.”

During a recent trip to Wewak, Kreider also learnt from local stakeholders that there is still a need for more awareness and understanding of the law on Human Trafficking and ways for the government to help make sure that people who are on the front lines of identifying these cases understand what human trafficking is and how to assist victims.

“Once there is more awareness on human trafficking laws, more and more human trafficking will pop up and increase as then people can now be able to identify and understand situations so they can be able to get in touch with the right authorities to deal with these cases.

Kreider adds that there’s been a wide range of types of cases that she believes speaks to the different vulnerabilities that people face here and an increase in awareness that’s giving the communities and authorities the tools to identify these cases.

Annette Kora