NEWS

Police Chief Shares Ideas

Focus was yesterday turned to the realities of human trafficking in Fiji during the 16th Attorney-General’s Conference. Commissioner of Police Bernardus Groenewald addressed some 400 lawyers at the annual conference
07 Dec 2014 11:15
Police Chief Shares Ideas
Commissioner of Police Bernardus Groenewald (left). Photo: Isaac Lal, Deptfo News

Focus was yesterday turned to the realities of human trafficking in Fiji during the 16th Attorney-General’s Conference.

Commissioner of Police Bernardus Groenewald addressed some 400 lawyers at the annual conference on its final day giving the Fiji Police Force’s perspective on the issue.

“Fiji, like many other smaller islands states is limited in its ability to specifically focus on combating trafficking in persons by competing economic challenges for resources by other sectors for development against the needs of Police, immigration, and other institutions,” Mr Goenewald said.

“However, faced with these challenges, the Fiji Government has revamped its Immigration laws to factor in the critical component of combating and recognising human trafficking and smuggling as an offence punishable by law.”

Mr Groenewald said the establishment of specialised Police units to investigate cases of human trafficking demonstrates significant efforts to address the challenges of trans-border crimes.

He said this also acknowledged Fiji’s obligation under the international protocols on trafficking in persons.

“Fiji being considered the hub of the Pacific remains susceptible to the multi-faceted crimes such as trafficking in persons and other forms of transnational crimes given the porous nature of our borders and our scarce resources.

“Over the years, non-state actors have exploited the legal gaps, systems, etc, and these challenges are considered a catalyst to the committal of these crimes,” the Commissioner said.

He highlighted three things that needed to be done for Fiji to be able to seriously tackle cases of human trafficking.

These include:

– the need for state-of-the-art IT equipment and other resources;

– dedicated and well-trained investigators; and

– inter and intra departmental networking and co-operation.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 




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