25 Apr 2007

Forced prostitution and human trafficking plague Palau

6:05 pm on 25 April 2007

The attorney general in Palau says forced prostitution and human trafficking are ongoing problems in the country.

The comments follow four Chinese and Taiwanese nationals being found guilty on multiple charges relating to human trafficking, prostitution and the breaking of labour laws.

The charges stemmed from complaints filed by ten Filipino and Chinese workers who had been recruited and worked at a bar in Koror.

The attorney general, Jeffrey Beattie, says officials are looking into human trafficking and forced prostitution as it is not uncommon in Palau.

"'It is not an isolated incident. Before this, we had two other cases where the people pleaded guilty. But this is a first case where they pleaded not guilty and we had to go to trial. We will investigate our evidence that leads to to people trafficking."

Mr Beattie says he hopes this case will encourage women who are enduring the same fate to come forward.