16 Aug 2005

Sex industry in Solomon Islands reported to be growing

9:09 pm on 16 August 2005

There is growing concern in Solomon Islands that increasing numbers of girls and young women are being drawn into the sex industry.

The National Council of Women has called on the government, churches and society itself to look for solutions to prevent women becoming involved in prostitution.

The Programme Director for Save the Children in the Solomons, Ian Rodger, says the ethnic tensions pushed the issue off the main agenda...but the problem has been growing:

"We have witnessed and had requests for assistance for children from the age of fourteen and up into the late twenties. There are reports of children even younger than that."

Mr Rodgers says prostitution is developing around ports and logging camps.

He says more needs to be done to increase job opportunities for the young to provide alternative sources of income.