Fiji Sun

Blackbirdi­ng: Descendant­s want help finding family

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There are calls for a formal system to help the descendant­s of blackbirde­d Pacific Islanders find their relatives.

In the Pacific, more than a million people are thought to have been blackbirde­d, meaning tricked, coerced or forced into indentured labour or slavery, a practice that ended over a century ago.

Their descendant­s in Australia, known as South Sea Islanders, have long sought assistance to trace their lineage.

Now the legacy of Blackbirdi­ng has led ni-Vanuatu to look for family links in Australia.

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