29 Jun 2009

Poverty forcing young girls into prostitution in Fiji

11:19 am on 29 June 2009

The police in Fiji say they are aware of young girls becoming involved in prostitution in Labasa.

Police spokesperson, Sergeant Atunaisa Sokomuri, confirmed police knew of the prostitution problem in the northern town.

But he told the Fiji Times it was not a problem isolated to Labasa and happened elsewhere around the country.

Fiji Women's Crisis Centre Co-ordinator Shamima Ali says the challenge is that prostitution takes a more hidden form in Labasa.

She says unlike in Suva, girls do not hang out on the streets, but visit hotels.

A child labour awareness workshop has heard how poverty is leading to young girls becoming prostitutes.

One NGO representative said he was told by a taxi driver in Labasa that sometimes young girls charged as low as 1 US dollar.