I will never forget hearing of a case of sisters gone missing while we lived in Fiji. I followed the news for days, hoping that they would be found and returned to their family, feeling sick at the possibilities.
They weren’t found, and Urmila and I still talk about what may have happened the these lovely girls aged in their early teens. She knows the area where they lived and recounts to me the various stories and rumours and local theories. No matter what the truth is, it’s heartbreaking.
I have felt equally sickened this last few weeks as Fijian media sources have covered the court cases against 2 accused traffickers and written articles about what is believed to be the extent of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the islands.
Talebula Kate from The Fiji Sun wrote this week:
During a presentation at the Fiji Police National Community Policing Symposium held at the Police Academy in Nasova, Suva, yesterday head of the Human Trafficking Unit CID officer Aminiasi Cula said girls between the ages of 12 to 18 years are mostly targeted for human trafficking within Fiji.
He said the market for young girls is between Suva and Nadi. According to the current trend, Police have found that clients were requesting for young girls on the streets.
He said these illegal operations were conducted in some massage parlours, hotels, motels, apartments, and even some homes. “The clients request for younger girls – the lower the age the higher the price – payment ranges from $200 to $1000,” CID officer Cula said.
Girls are not for sale. Their bodies are not commodities available for the perverse pleasure of the men who are part of an enormous and growing industry that supplies the demand for sex with young girls.
Every girl has the human right to grow up safe and be given the chance to flourish in life.
We support the education of girls in the Pacific because, amongst so many other great reasons, educated girls are less vulnerable to the evil of sexual exploitation.
We’d love you to be part of the journey.
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Jane for team ‘a Girl & her world’