13 May 2010

Tonga women alarmed at human trrafficking case

2:27 pm on 13 May 2010

Tonga's Women's and Children's crisis centre says a case of human trafficking in the country has raised red flags.

Police have charged two people with human trafficking, the first such case of this kind in the country.

The arrests relate to the recruitment and transportation from another country, and the harbouring of young women in Nuku'alofa.

The director of the centre, Ofa kilevuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki, says more work needs to be done on whether this a growing problem in Tonga.

"We know that they are fearing for their lives but we need to do some investigative work, in collaboration with the police, and the health system to see if any women are reporting through to the hospitals, and are they reporting to the police station and if not the Crisis Centre is looking at alternative ways of reaching out to these women by having fliers translated into Mandarin and Cantonese."

Ofa kilevuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki says the victims in this case are two young Chinese women.

They are now in a safe house and being cared for by someone from the Chinese community.