6 Jun 2008

US keeps on Kiribati on human trafficking watchlist

11:03 am on 6 June 2008

A U.S. State Department report says information suggests there is a small scale trafficking in persons problem in Kiribati and therefore the Pacific island country remains a special case for a second consecutive year.

The department's annual worldwide human trafficking report released this week says there is unreliable statistical data from both the government and civil society to make a final determination on human trafficking problem in Kiribati.

However, it does note that last year, international organisations and NGOs expressed concerns that internal trafficking of underage girls for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation by crews of foreign and local fishing vessels takes place occasionally in Kiribati.

The report says about 17 young girls are involved.

The report says although the government participated in awareness-rising activities last year, on commercial sexual exploitation of children, the government took no action to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.