Friday, February 21, 2014

Spreading Awareness about Human Trafficking – A Global Concern

FSMDOJ (February 21, 2013): Almost a month after the FSM National Anti-Human Trafficking Day, the promotion of awareness within the community continues.
On Wednesday 5 February 2014, the Department of Justice delivered an information session on human trafficking at the College of Micronesia. As part of the Government's continuing efforts in the national campaign against human trafficking, the presenters included Secretary of Justice April Dawn M. Skilling, Acting Chief of National Police Johnny Santos, Acting Chief of Division of Immigration and Labor Ricky Falcam, Transnational Crime Unit Captain George Skilling and Contract Attorney Caroline Rugero. As over 60 college students and staff listened to and participated in the information session, it was highlighted that human trafficking is a serious crime that can happen not only in the FSM, but is also prevalent throughout the world. 
Reminders to FSM citizens to be cautious and alert continue following the preparation of a National Anti-Human Trafficking Action Plan last week. Human trafficking is a clandestine crime that goes largely undetected and is shockingly the second most profitable crime after drugs smuggling and illegal arms trading. Micronesians are reminded to be extra cautious of job offers that seem too good to be true and to find out as much information as possible before making a decision to move overseas or accepting a job offer. Upfront payments, lack of contract and requesting to keep a person's passport are some of the signs that the employer is not being honest about their representations. Deceit is the key weapon used by human traffickers to lure their victims, many of whom are young children and women,  who end up exploited as sex workers, cheap laborers or even have their organs removed and sold in the black market. Through education and by raising awareness within the community, citizens can help prevent human trafficking as well as help the authorities in prosecuting perpetrators.

Anyone who suspects someone is being trafficked is strongly encouraged to contact the national police on 691-320-2628/2058.

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