Marshalls works hard for slight improvement on trafficking issues

8:48 am on 4 July 2017

The Marshall Islands has worked hard over the past 12 months to improve slightly its poor ranking on fighting human trafficking.

The Republic has been among the lowest ranking countries in the US human trafficking reports, which have become a point of contention over the past two years.

Our correspondent Giff Johnson said being ranked at the bottom had spurred more activity, like a national plan of action, funding for victim services and awareness raising efforts.

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But the latest 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report by the US Department of State saw the Marshall Islands move up just a little.

"Which still isn't an ideal location to be, but it's certainly a significant step up and reflects things like various passage of an updated law to do with trafficking and a fair amount of community based work in trying to raise the profile and understanding about trafficking," Mr Johnson said.

The report said that while the Marshall Islands had made modest efforts to identify trafficking victims, there were no prosecutions or convictions for trafficking offences in the past year.

It also recognised that significant efforts were being made to meet minimum standards on the elimination of trafficking.