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Human Trafficking, Its Realities

The treatment of victims of human trafficking during court cases is a very important issue on which there needs to be further discussions, says the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. “If we
07 Dec 2014 11:16
Human Trafficking, Its Realities
Minister for Education Rosy Akbar and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama shares cake with Suvavou Kindergarten students after the opening on August 12, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

The treatment of victims of human trafficking during court cases is a very important issue on which there needs to be further discussions, says the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

“If we want to successfully prosecute these cases, it may mean keeping these people in Fiji for say nine months or one year if it drags out that long.

“What is the status of the immigration laws we have in place? How do we treat them? Do we treat them as asylum-seekers? Does Fiji have provisions in our laws regarding asylum in particular to these people?

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said while the United Nations has guidelines on such issues, the manner in which this is enforced on different countries was of concern.

“Again there is a bit of paradox in this. In the international arena, the smaller countries like Fiji and not just Fiji, seem to be pressured into adhering more with these so-called guidelines and conventions and practices generally accepted on the international scene when other big countries with more clout seem to get away with it.

“We as countries, as small developing states should negotiate how there seems to be more importance given to civil and political rights over socio-economic rights.

“We have once again become, as with drugs, sort of a transit point for human trafficking and indeed the examples used where seven Indians were brought into Fiji, Fiji again was a transit point from one perspective.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said many people now want to come to Fiji because socio-economically we seem to be doing a lot better.

“We are not a bad spot to hang around for a few years and then go off to Australia or New Zealand. These are the sorts of new challenges we have and how should we develop our laws in that area.”

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 




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