The training was delivered as part of the Counter Trafficking in Human Beings in Fiji project that IOM is implementing in partnership with Fijian NGO Homes of Hope. The project was launched last July and is co-funded by the European Union (EU) and IOM Development Fund.
Today’s training will provide the working group with better understanding of the dynamics of human trafficking and help them recognize the importance of coordination between relevant stakeholders in preventing human trafficking and appreciate the need for a National Action Plan.
The training aims to support Fijian civil society organisations and the Government of Fiji to strengthen their partnership and national approach to prevent human trafficking and support civil society organisations to effectively raise awareness about human trafficking and advocate for the rights of victims.
According to the US State Department report on Trafficking in Persons, Fiji is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficking in human beings. Although the number of convicted cases is small, trafficking in human beings is fast becoming a regional issue for the Pacific.
“This training will enable officers in relevant government agencies to be aware of the horrendous crime of human trafficking and be able to effectively deal with perpetrators, identify victims and refer them for appropriate support and care,” said Solomon Kantha, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Fiji.
“The EU recognizes human trafficking as a serious crime against human beings and is happy to provide funding support to build the capacity of the Fijian Government to effectively deal cases of trafficking and assist victims,” said Francesco Ponzoni, the EU Programme Manager.
The project will also commence one of the first major research studies into human trafficking in Fiji this year. This research study will be designed in collaboration with the Fijian Government through the National Human Trafficking Working Group.