18 Jun 2009

US report fingers PNG and Fiji over human trafficking

6:44 pm on 18 June 2009

A new United States State Department report says Fiji and Papua New Guinea have huge problems with human trafficking.

The report says both governments have taken no steps to protect victims of human trafficking or prosecute offenders for forced labour and prostitution.

The ninth annual report examines the face of modern-day slavery in 175 countries.

A US embassy spokesperson in New Zealand, Mark Wenig, says the report will try to encourage countries with poor records to fight the problem.

"They'll be named in the report and then the US will work with these countries individually to try and get them to recognise the problem and to take action. I don't recall any specific sanctions or anything that might not be existing already."

Mark Wenig says a trafficking victim doesn't need to be transported from one location to another to be categorised as such.