26 Jun 2014

Pacific trafficking threat greater in downturn

4:19 pm on 26 June 2014

The head of an NGO in the Northern Marianas which helps victims of human rights abuse says economic conditions have made people more vulnerable to human trafficking.

The US State Department's newly released 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report has again identified the CNMI and Guam as a transit location for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking.

The president of Pacific Ombudsman for Humanitarian Law says the government has been supportive of the goal of investigating and prosecuting every case that comes forward.

Pamela Brown Blackburn believes the problem has been made worse in places like the CNMI because of economic troubles.

"We've had such economic challenges in the past eight years that it's been very difficult to turn away any type of investors for the local politicians and so often those investors are not the best investors that we should have here like when the garment industry was here, they didn't see human rights in the same light as we in the West see it."

The president of Pacific Ombudsman for Humanitarian Law, Pamela Brown Blackburn.