20 Mar 2009

Fewer slave labourers sent to CNMI due to global economic crisis

11:11 am on 20 March 2009

The assistant US attorney general for the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas says the global economic crisis has affected human trafficking numbers in the country.

Eric O'Malley says changes in the world's economy have caused garment factories to shut down, meaning many slave labourers brought in from China and the Philippines are now displaced.

He says he believes human traffickers are making use of the victims, who are mostly females, instead of bringing more people in.

"As far as someone flying in on a plane, I think it's probably just because of the pure economic dynamics here we're seeing less of that. And so what we're trying to do is really reach out and find those who are here that have been here for a while. Of course it doesn't matter when they came necessarily, they're still a victim and we can still do something for them."

Eric O'Malley says the human trafficking task force in CNMI has been successful in helping victims who have been found.