31 Jul 2007

Logging companies in Solomon Islands to receive reports of sexual abuse committed by workers

6:15 pm on 31 July 2007

Logging companies in Solomon Islands are to be given copies of a report which shows there is sexual exploitation of children by workers at some logging camps.

The Church of Melanesia's Christian Care Centre, which undertook the study in the Arosi region of Makira province, found that more than 70 children from 12 villages had been sexually exploited by those working at adjoining logging camps.

A clinical psychologist who helped compile the report, Dr Tania Herbert, says this included acts of prostitution where money or goods, like rice, were exchanged with children as young as 11.

She says the logging companies, which aren't being named, are being sent copies of the report.

Dr Herbert says they're hoping they might be able to set up consultations with them, or another group such as UNICEF, or the relevant ministry might be able to open up discussions with the logging camps.

"One of the series of recommendations in the report is around consulting with logging companies, making them aware, first of all, what's happening in the camps and hopefully setting up some policies. And, putting the onus on the companies to actually monitor the behaviour of their employees."

Dr Tania Herbert.