Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2014, 10:10 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Papua New Guinea

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 12 June 2007
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Papua New Guinea, 12 June 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/467be3d0c.html [accessed 17 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Papua New Guinea (Tier 2 Watch List)

Papua New Guinea is a destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Internal trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude occurs. Children are held in indentured servitude as domestic workers. Women are trafficked from Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and the People's Republic of China (P. R. C. ) for sexual exploitation in brothels in the capital and at isolated logging and mining camps. Children are held in indentured servitude either as a means of paying a family debt or because the natural parents cannot afford to support the child. Some children are given to another family of greater wealth to serve as a housekeeper or nanny – a practice that can lead to trafficking in persons. There were isolated cases of Thai women transiting Papua New Guinea from Singapore on their way to Japan.

The Government of Papua New Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Papua New Guinea has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List because of its significantly increasing problem of trafficking in persons. The government should pass and enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation and collaborate with civil society, religious and tribal leaders to raise awareness about trafficking, including the demand aspect. The government should make efforts to prosecute and convict complicit officials and exploitative employers.

Prosecution

The Government of Papua New Guinea demonstrated minimal efforts to combat trafficking in persons. Papua New Guinea does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though its criminal code prohibits the trafficking of children for sexual exploitation. Trafficking for labor exploitation, however, is not criminalized and law enforcement officials do not actively investigate suspected cases due to a lack of officers within any branch of the government who are capable of dealing with trafficking crimes. There were no reported prosecutions or convictions of trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Police arrested a cult leader known as "Black Jesus" for killing and eating three young women he recruited as sex slaves. The police, through the assistance of immigration officers, stopped six Thai women transiting Papua New Guinea from Singapore on their way to Japan and deported them to Thailand on the next flight. Trafficking-related corruption is a serious problem and no public officials were investigated or prosecuted for trafficking-related crimes.

Protection

The Government of Papua New Guinea demonstrated limited efforts to protect or assist victims of trafficking. Due to severe resource constraints, the government relies on services provided by international organizations or NGOs. The government does not actively investigate trafficking crimes, and it does not implement procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreigners detained for prostitution or immigration violations. No victims presented themselves to police during the year. The government would encourage victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers if they came forward. There is no legal alternative to removal for victims that may face hardship or retribution in a source country. There are a few shelters in Port Moresby, Lae, and other major cities, but they are not specifically for victims of trafficking.

Prevention

The Government of Papua New Guinea relied on international organizations and NGOs to conduct prevention and awareness campaigns. A YWCA HIV and AIDS prevention program targeted women and girls in prostitution and provided literacy and skills training. Papua New Guinea has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

Search Refworld

Countries