NZ think-tank to combat human trafficking
Pacific women at an Auckland human rights think-tank are creating a mobile-phone-app and translating legal language in an effort to combat human trafficking in Pacific Islands.
A Pacific human rights group is creating a mobile-app and translating legal language in an effort to combat human trafficking in Pacific Islands.
At least 12 different Pacific nations were represented by 75 women at the Pacific Women's Indigenous Network's Think Tank Talanoa in Auckland to workshop ideas that can be taken back to their countries.
The event's key speaker, and human rights advocate Suzanna Tiapula, spoke to Daniela Maoate-Cox about the issues and strategies they came up with.
SUZANNA TIAPULA: There are men women and children in the Pacific who are being trafficked and the effort of these women is really heroic in demanding of themselves and their sisters, their allies that they do more. So this was an effort to try identify areas of concern.
DANIELA MAOATE-COX: So what's happening in the Pacific?
ST: We see significant trafficking, there had been a lot of textile trafficking. There was a case in American Samoa in 2000 involving 240 women and men who were being trafficked in the Daewoosa Factory. There is a case right now that's active in the Republic of Palau, 14 individuals were indicted and are facing trial for trafficking of a number of Filipino women that included a police officer and at least one American lawyer.
DM-C: So what does a group of women getting together in Auckland do to combat this?
ST: These women were amazing, they actually say down with the Palermo protocol to try to understand the international instrument. They met and we talked about the need of victims of trafficking and how we would structure support for them. They put together a strategic plan for the organisation such that not only the individuals in the room but women throughout the Pacific would be brought together in a framework to have access to the same training, to the same materials we looked at this weekend to try to grow a responsive not just for better intervention but for prevention.
DM-C: Can you give me an examples of what kind of strategies they have that they'll be able to take away and implement?
ST: Absolutely, with respect to human trafficking, there's a women who has agreed to author an article on the convention on the rights of the child in Kiribati. There are two other individuals who are looking at creating an app to make some of this information available to younger Pacific Islander women so it's an interesting mix of both traditional and modern technology. There are others who are working on translating the human trafficking, there's a lot of language around trafficking that can be difficult to parse. Even in English it can be complex but they have not been translated into some of their own languages.
DM-C: So the ones who have volunteered to go away and write articles about this, once it's published in a journal, what will that achieve?
ST: They want to own the narrative, we're talking about the experience of Pacific Islanders, human trafficking in the Pacific, human rights, and sort of the intersect between human rights, cultural belief systems but they want to own this narrative and part of owning the narrative is being involved in discourse. These are our women, our families, our children and we want to be a part of that dynamic.
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