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Human trafficking course for prosecutors

March 03
12:00 2011

image Written By : Source: Pacific Dialogue. The fight against human trafficking in Fiji continued last Friday as State prosecutors from across the country travelled to Suva to take part in a workshop led by former High Court judge Nazhat Shameem and local NGO Pacific Dialogue.
While training officers on the prosecution of human trafficking crimes, the workshop examined international conventions and overseas cases before concluding with a mock court scenario in which officers summarised a number of case studies.
The training will assist the ongoing fight against human trafficking in Fiji, following the formation of the National Plan of Action to Eradicate Trafficking in Persons and Child Trafficking.
International and domestic trafficking of persons continues to pose a serious threat in Fiji.
These acts prey on vulnerable groups such as women and children and constitute gross violations of human rights.
Last year, the United States State Department took the step of promoting Fiji from Tier 3 to the Tier 2 Watch List of its Human Trafficking database in recognition of the positive response of state institutions, and Fiji’s first ever case was prosecuted in the High Court last November.
Kadali Murti was sentenced to six years in jail for trafficking seven Indian nationals to Fiji, leaving them open to exploitation through poverty and their inability to speak English or Hindi.
Human trafficking cases are complex and notoriously difficult to prosecute, but it is hoped that events like Friday will help to strengthen the country’s response to these crimes.
Ms Shameem, who was lead trainer, was assisted by Suva-based Human Rights NGO Pacific Dialogue.
“This was the first ever human trafficking workshop for state prosecutors in Fiji,” she said.
“The day was a great success and will hopefully mark the start of many similar training initiatives in our state institutions.
“I am very grateful for the input of Pacific Dialogue in the workshop, and it is critical that civil society plays a prominent role in the ongoing fight against human trafficking in Fiji.”
Pacific Dialogue is currently working to acquire funding for a series of further human trafficking workshops later in the year.

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