4 Sep 2006

PIDC says more prostitutes being trafficked into Pacific

3:03 pm on 4 September 2006

The Pacific Immigration Directors' Conference, or PIDC, says there are more and more incidents of women being trafficked into the region and then forced into prostitution.

The latest case to become public involves a Chinese couple in American Samoa who are being accused of operating a prostitution business at a karaoke bar in Pago Pago.

The couple has been charged with multiple offences, including promoting prostitution and kidnapping.

But the PIDC's Matthew Gibbs says not only American Samoa faces those problems.

"There seems to be a very very well organised syndicate, or a number of syndicates and generally by their nature alone, they are interlinked in some way. One thing is for sure, they are very well organised, the ability to find the people to work in the industry, to move them into the country, to arrange all the travel documents etc."

Mr Gibbs says countries and territories with a strong fishing, construction, garment and logging industry are the worst affected because they have the clientele.