Lack of development partners solidarity in human trafficking case frustrate activist

Head of Vanuatu Human Rights Coalition, Pakoa . File Photo

Head of the Vanuatu Human Rights Coalition, Anne Pakoa, said she is not happy that key development partners are not stepping up to assist the Government of Vanuatu with the trafficking of 101 Bangladesh men into Vanuatu.

She said the current case is one of the worst to have occurred in Vanuatu as well as in the region thus, the cost of assisting the victims is expensive.

“We have not seen any solidarity from Australia nor developed countries who have strong diplomatic relations with Vanuatu. That’s not nice.

“Key development partners really need to step in to help us.

“Vanuatu is a small developing state and our government is struggling financially to support those many victims.

“The government is now using the state budget to meet the needs of those victims, which has not been budgeted for. The government is paying their rent and food. They are also being offered free medical services.

“We are demonstrating our humanitarian duty to support and protect the victims. Our government is managing their welfare here in our very soil.

“We as a humanitarian agency have sought Australia, New Zealand (NZ) and Canada to consider resettling the victims as part of their humanitarian programs.

“NZ refused. We have not receive any reply from the two other countries. We also have not yet received the stand of the Vanuatu government regarding this area.

“NZ Government, through its High Commission Office in Port Vila, has offered cash through the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) to help the victims,” she said.

She said that the Vanuatu Human Rights Coalition has been mobilizing communities, churches, chiefs and individuals to offer assistance to the victims.

The Humanitarian Activist has also questioned the government of Bangladesh on what it could do to support the Vanuatu Government in meeting the needs of its citizens.

She said IMO is assisting with the process of repatriating the victims.

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