BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
GOVERNMENT is working with stakeholders to develop a policy framework aimed at eliminating modern slavery and commercial sexual exploitation on both national and foreign fishing vessels.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare revealed this in his nationwide address on Monday.
He said last week the Immigration Division together with other relevant government agencies and representatives from civil society and non-government organisations participated in a two-day virtual consultation workshop organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Foreign Fisheries Agency (FFA) at Heritage Park hotel on the subject of eliminating modern slavery, labour, and human trafficking on fishing vessels
“This Policy Framework will be recommended for regional and international cooperation to ensure the state flag ships support the regional initiatives undertaken by IOM, ILO and FFA for Parties to Nauru Agreement,” Sogavare said.
“The Policy Framework will incorporate best practises to protect people from modern slavery and human trafficking, on fishing vessels nationally, regionally, and internationally,” he added.
“My good people, it is time we take serious actions against the issue of international modern slavery and human trafficking in our country and the region.”
He said the workshop considered a research report conducted in the fishing industries in Solomon Islands, which highlighted labour issues and commercial sexual exploitations.
“Therefore, the Government is taking steps to address the challenges of forced labour on foreign flag vessels in the international waters outside of the Parties to Nauru Agreement.”