Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 - Fiji
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||4 June 2008|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 - Fiji, 4 June 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/484f9a1529.html [accessed 22 July 2014]|
FIJI (Tier 3)
Fiji is a source country for children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and a destination country for a small number of women from the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) and India trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. In addition, Fiji boys and girls are victims of commercial sexual exploitation by Fiji citizens, foreign tourists, and sailors on foreign fishing vessels. Local hotels procure underage girls for commercial sexual exploitation by foreign guests. Taxi drivers and occasionally relatives act as facilitators. Some Fiji children are informally adopted or given to other families to raise – a tradition of child placement that can facilitate trafficking in persons.
The Government of Fiji does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and it is not making significant efforts to do so. Despite a joint UNICEF and ECPAT report released in December 2006 documenting a problem of children exploited in the commercial sex trade in Fiji, the government has demonstrated no action to investigate or prosecute traffickers, assist victims, or participate in public awareness campaigns to prevent trafficking.
Recommendations for Fiji: Collaborate with civil society and international organizations on combating commercial sexual exploitation of children and training law enforcement officers on victim identification and protection; use Fiji's laws in place to prosecute, convict, and sentence traffickers and facilitators; develop and institute a formal procedure to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups such as women or children arrested for prostitution; support a visible anti-trafficking awareness campaign directed at clients of children in commercial sexual exploitation; and conduct efforts to proactively identify trafficking victims.
The Government of Fiji demonstrated no significant efforts to combat trafficking in persons during the reporting period. The government is limited in its ability to focus on combating trafficking in persons by an ongoing political and economic crisis brought on by the 2006 coup and funding for police, immigration, and other institutions is generally inadequate. Fiji prohibits sex and labor trafficking through its Immigration Act of 2003, which prescribes punishments that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. The Government of Fiji reported no arrests, prosecutions, or convictions of trafficking offenders during the reporting period. A Combined Law Agencies Group (CLAG) meets monthly to address law enforcement issues, including trafficking in persons. There is no evidence of government officials' complicity in trafficking.
The Government of Fiji did not demonstrate any significant efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the last year. The Government of Fiji's law enforcement, immigration, and social service personnel have no formal system of proactively identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons with whom they come in contact, and the government did not identify any trafficking victims during the year. The government has not developed or implemented a process to refer identified victims to institutions that could provide short- or long-term care. Due to severe resource constraints, the government relies on services provided by NGOs or international organizations as needed. The Government of Fiji did not actively encourage victim participation in the law enforcement efforts, as there were no investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenders during the year.
The Government of Fiji demonstrated no meaningful efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the year. There were no visible measures undertaken by the government to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts and the government did not support any anti-trafficking information or education campaigns during the reporting period. Fiji laws, including those pertaining to trafficking in persons and sexual assault, apply to Fiji citizens deployed abroad as part of peacekeeping missions. The Republic of Fiji Military Forces provided anti-trafficking training for soldiers in advance of their being deployed abroad on international peacekeeping missions. Fiji has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.