PNG to fight traf­fick­ing as ‘slave’ boat seized

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

Pa­pua New Guinea Prime Min­is­ter Peter O’Neill Sun­day pledged his na­tion’s sup­port in tack­ling hu­man traf­fick­ing as he con­firmed the seizure of a boat car­ry­ing al­leged slaves from Cam­bo­dia and Myan­mar.

O’Neill said the eight peo­ple were res­cued from the fish­ing boat “Bliss­ful Reefer” af­ter it was boarded on July 27 off the south­ern port of Daru in PNG wa­ters.

Of­fi­cials were ques­tion­ing the 19 crew, in­clud­ing the cap­tain, in the cap­i­tal Port Moresby while the eight were be­ing kept in a safe lo­ca­tion be­fore their re­turn home, the PNG leader said in a state­ment.

“There are other ves­sels of in­ter­est in the area and we are fol­low­ing lines of in­quiry into their ac­tiv­i­ties,” O’Neill added.

The boat seizure came as the United States re­leased its an­nual rank­ing of hu­man traf­fick­ing, with Cam­bo­dia and Myan­mar’s neigh­bor Thai­land near the bot­tom of the list.

Thai­land’s traf­fick­ing prob­lem cen­ters on its ex­ten­sive sex trade, but there is also re­ported abuse in com­mer­cial fish­ing.

O’Neill said PNG would work with its re­gional part­ners to de­velop a more for­mal net­work track­ing and de­tain­ing boats car­ry­ing traf­ficked peo­ple.

“The forced traf­fick­ing of hu­mans, slaves by any other de­scrip­tion, is one of the most dis­gust­ing prac­tices in the world to­day,” he added.

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