1 Dec 2011

Bride price custom raised as possible area of concern in Pacific human trafficking study

5:03 pm on 1 December 2011

The author of a report on the Pacific's vulnerabilities to human trafficking says the bride price custom has been raised as an area of concern.

A two-day conference in Wellington this week aims to abolish some of the myths surrounding trafficking, including that it's not taking place in the region.

Laura Beacroft of the Australian Instititute of Criminology says trafficking involves trapping people into an exploitative situation and it's difficult to give a definitive answer on the scale of the activity in the Pacific.

She says it's apparent that the bride price system and underage marriage are areas of concern for many Pacific Island communities.

"There was a very important study by the Christian Care Centre done of a logging camp in the Solomon Islands where it was observed that there were very young girls being sold as brides to logging camp staff. And there have been other reports that some young girls then end up on various maritime vessels and being abused."

The Australian Insititute of Criminology's Laura Beacroft.