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United States launches new project to combat human trafficking in the Pacific region

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SUVA– The US government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has launched a five-year partnership with The Asia Foundation (TAF) worth US$10 million to commemorate World Anti-Trafficking Day on July 30. The purpose of the partnership is to implement anti-trafficking interventions in Fiji, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

USAID’s Pacific RISE CTIP (Pacific Regional Initiative and Support to More Effectively Combat Trafficking in Persons) project uses a holistic, multi-sectoral approach that engages government, civil society, and the private sector in the protection of potential victims and the prosecution of those involved in trafficking. .

Tony Greubel, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Suva, said, “Pacific RISE CTIP represents the U.S. government’s commitment to partner with Pacific island countries to combat human trafficking. USAID helps Pacific Island countries defend human rights and end this modern form of slavery.

On July 19, the US Department of State released the 2022 Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. The US Secretary of State is required to submit the TIP report annually to Congress under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA). The annual TIP report documents the efforts made by the governments of countries, including the United States, to combat human trafficking.

Pacific RISE CTIP Fiji Fact Sheet

Fiji maintains a Tier 2 ranking while Palau and Tonga remain on the Tier 2 watch list in 2022, compared to 2021. According to TVPA, the governments of these countries are not fully meeting minimum standards for elimination of TP, but are making considerable efforts. to comply with TVPA standards.

Through this project, USAID’s goal is to reduce the incidence and vulnerability of trafficking by improving trafficking prevention mechanisms and strategies, improving victim protection services, and improving the access to legal services and remedies.

“Human trafficking is a real and ongoing challenge for communities in the Pacific. As a focus country for the new Pacific RISE-CTIP program, Fiji is grateful for the partnership of USAID and the Asia Foundation to support our efforts under this program,” said Manasa Lesuma, Permanent Secretary for the defense and national security when the project was launched.

Pacific RISE-CTIP will work to combat trafficking in persons (TIP) through a whole-of-society approach that engages Pacific governments, civil society and the private sector.

“We particularly welcome the aspect of a holistic and multi-sectoral approach that engages government, civil society and the private sector. Strong, strong relationships are key to achieving lasting impact in a way that responds to national priorities and values ​​community leadership,” said Sandra Kraushaar, Foundation Asia Regional Representative, Pacific Islands.