PNG committed to war against human trafficking: Pato


Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato  says Papua New Guinea is committed to advancing measures to stop human trafficking and modern-day slavery in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) region.
Accompanied by Minister for Immigration and Border Security Petrus Thomas, Pato was speaking at the Bali Process Government and Business Forum in Perth, Australia, last week where he said action that would save lives must be stepped up.
“Human trafficking is a scourge, a blight on humanity, and an anathema to the free world,” Pato said told an audience of ministers and business leaders from 45 countries.
“From the poorest to the most developed countries, right now, people are being trafficked and their rights denied.
“We all have a role to play, regardless of the size or power of our country or government.
“In PNG, we have uncovered people -smuggling crimes, and working with our partners including Australia we have interrupted these activities and made arrests.
“We are continuing to step up border control protection measures that will detect further illegal activities.  Be it modern-day slavery in the fisheries sector, or the exploration of people in the sex trade, and other instances of forced labour, PNG takes this issue very seriously.”
Pato said the government could not tackle the problem of human trafficking on its own but must work with the private sector, and the upcoming Apec Transport Ministerial Meeting in Port Moresby would advance this agenda.
“We have to work with the transportation industry to interrupt supply chains and networks in this awful trade in human misery.
“In October this year, PNG will host the 10th Apec transportation ministerial meeting. Apec has been proactive in encouraging collaboration, through the Apec anti-corruption and transparency working group, to combat human trafficking in the Asia-Pacific region.