Human trafficking is real in PNG

Human trafficking is happening all over the world.

Papua New Guinea is facing internal and international trafficking of men, women and children.

Trafficking for the purpose of both labour exploitation and sexual exploitation occurs at a high rate, as well as trafficking for domestic servitude and child trafficking, even though to a slightly lesser extent.

The Department of Justice and the Attorney General (DJAG) presented a request to the ACP-EU Migration Action for Technical Assistance (TA) to counter the crime in PNG by enhancing the law enforcement capacity.

This is aimed specifically at successfully investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases under the current Criminal Code.

Motivated by its membership and commitments acquired from non-governmental organisations working with victims of gender-based violence (GBV), and with the support of Background Papua New Guinea What is a Baseline assessment (ba)? from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the authorities have taken important steps to combat trafficking in PNG in recent years.

Speaking of his experience of trainings in PNG, International Law Enforcement Advisor and specialist, Steve Harvey, said human trafficking in PNG is the same as other places in the world.

He said the human trafficking elements are linked to the environment, to cultural practices to the society but it was the question of raising awareness with the authorities that needed to be aware that they have a role to play.

“Where that awareness doesn’t exist, that’s the first challenge in making people receptive to new information and also to raise their awareness.”

Harvey said the recommendation for all front line practitioners; those who engaged in ministries, departments and agencies that are likely to come in to contact with human trafficking, needs to come out to test the process.

“They need to be confident to use the skills and knowledge that they’ve been getting through the training and ask more questions. Look at what is currently going on within the society and seek to identify.”

It has been identified that additional trainings and continuous awareness workshops need to be conducted in the future to increase the awareness understanding on the issue of human trafficking in PNG.

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Annette Kora