22 May 2008

State lawyer in Northern Marianas urges women forced into prostitution to come forward

7:56 pm on 22 May 2008

The assistant US attorney for the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas is urging women being forced to work as prostitutes or exotic dancers to seek help.

More women than ever before have sought help over the past year after being brought into the territory by human traffickers.

Most of the women have come from China and the Philippines.

Eric O'Malley says the human trafficking taskforce is trying to encourage these women to come forward.

"The next step for the task force I think is to both get the word out that if there are victims out there, that they have a place to come for help, that the government here takes their experiences seriously and we can help them. To coincide with that we also need to educate the people here, to keep an eye out for this, to understand exactly what human trafficking is, modern human trafficking employs much more subtle means of coercion than that."

The CNMI assistant US attorney, Eric O'Malley.