U.S. Embassy, Port Moresby: Human trafficking is a crime that happens almost everywhere and affects virtually everyone. Political Affairs Officer in the Office to Monitor & Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) at the U.S. Department of State, Kendra Kreider, who arrived in the country on Monday, said human trafficking persists around the world, including Papua New Guinea and the United States.
Ms. Kreider will meet with the National Human Trafficking Committee (NHTC), International Organization for Migration (IOM), PNG Customs Service, the Department of Justice and Attorney General (DJAG) and local media to discuss the issues of human trafficking in Papua New Guinea.
As Political Affairs Officer, Ms. Kreider advises senior U.S. government officials in the development and implementation of foreign policy to combat all forms of trafficking in persons. In this capacity, she has traveled throughout East Asia and the Pacific, Central America, and West and Central Africa to assist governments in their anti-trafficking efforts.
Ms. Kreider has contributed to the writing and production of the last six Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Reports, released each year by the U.S. Secretary of State. Her areas of expertise include conflict-related trafficking, labor migration, forced labor in supply chains, and the intersection of human trafficking and environmental degradation.
Ms. Kreider said the 2016 U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report, released in June, highlights this problem (human trafficking) and the actions governments, businesses, and consumers can take to combat it.
Papua New Guinea was ranked Tier 3 in this year’s report, a downgrade from its Tier 2 Watchlist ranking in 2015. According to the report, this downgrade “recognizes that much more work remains to be done despite the efforts that the government of PNG has made in combatting human trafficking.”
Like the United States, Papua New Guinea is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. An estimated 19 percent of the country’s labor market is comprised of child workers – some of whom are subjected to forced labor or child prostitution. Non-government organization sources indicate children in prostitution increased by 30 percent in 2013.
The entire TIP Report is available on-line at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2016/index.htm. For further information, or to report a suspected case of human trafficking in PNG, please call the ‘Stop Human Trafficking’ toll-free hotline on +675 7100 7777.