NATION

Culture Of Silence, Taboo, Camouflages Sex Exploitation

  Stories of young girls being sexually exploited in Fiji were disclosed at a meeting at Novotel Hotel in Nadi yesterday. The three day Pacific Consultation on Alliance 8.7 is
05 Oct 2017 13:46
Culture Of Silence, Taboo,  Camouflages Sex Exploitation
Homes of Hope Director, Lynnie Roche speaks at the Pacific Consultation on Alliance 8.7 at Novotel Hotel in Nadi on September 4, 2017. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa

 

Stories of young girls being sexually exploited in Fiji were disclosed at a meeting at Novotel Hotel in Nadi yesterday.

The three day Pacific Consultation on Alliance 8.7 is aimed at bringing together the 11 member states of the International Labour Organisation within the region to discuss  child labour, forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking issues.

Homes of Hope Director, Lynnie Roche told the forum that to date they have dealt with more than 500 young mothers who were victims of forced sex.

Ms Roche said forced sex had previously been used on young girls now under their care, forced sex like rape, incest and sexual exploitation.

According to her assessment the culture of silence and taboo were factors that prohibited young girls from speaking up, a trend similar to other countries around the Pacific region.

She pleaded with stakeholders to put in place strategies that would combat the issues but in a collective manner as just being theoretical wouldn’t solve the issues.

Ms Roche not revealing the exact location in Fiji said a 14-year-old resided at a squatter settlement, with another 29 boys and girls who were all sold for sex by pimps.

“Right outside her home there were roadside fresh coconut sellers cum pimps,” Ms Roche added.

“These 30 young girls and boys were from broken homes that were in need,” she said.

“They were from all over the islands; they have come together because of that sense of belonging they were searching for, no matter where you are from, that sense of belonging is inside all of us.

Homes of Hope had put her under a one week training where she finally realised who she really was, a child.

In another case, Ms Roche revealed they had to step in to help another young girl who was sold off by her own mother, a prostitute, to a Taiwanese sailor for $1000 when she was just 14-years-old.

“This girl watched her mother turn around and go shopping for groceries from the supermarket with the same money,” she said.

“She became pregnant, the sailor sailed away and never came back, at 16 we found her in a brothel with her second child and again no education, trying to sell herself and nobody would buy her,” she added.

Ms Roche said they took in the girl and taught her all the phases of life to assist her nurture her children.

“These are actual trafficking cases, they were forced and someone else benefitted from their bodies,” she added.

Save the Children Fund, Programme Manager Development, Amita Prasad said in 2009 they found that 109 girls were sold for sex but since then there has been no data collected because of lack of resources and funds.

Assistant Director Child Services, Ela Tukutukulevu told the forum that most of these issues arise from financial constraints within the family and most young children were forced to take up the responsibility of their parents.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback:  arieta.vakasuwaqa@fijisun.com.fj


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.




Valentine Promo Poster


Tower Insurance
Total
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper