[ Country-by-Country Reports ]

SOLOMON ISLANDS (not rated)   [Extracted from U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2008]

June 2008

The Solomon Islands remains a special case for a second consecutive year because available information is not of sufficient quantity or reliability to determine that there is a significant number of trafficking victims in the country. There are indications, however, that the Solomon Islands may have a trafficking problem.

Scope and Magnitude. There is anecdotal evidence that young women from Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, and Malaysia are trafficked to the Solomon Islands for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Reports also indicate that girls and women are trafficked within the Solomon Islands for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation to logging camps. Child sex tourism appears to be a small problem with some visiting nationals of the United Kingdom, Australia, and France sexually exploiting local children. There are reports that boys and girls are taken out to foreign and local fishing vessels by their parents for commercial sexual exploitation with fishermen in exchange for fish. Children are occasionally sold into commercial sexual exploitation to pay bills or to earn school fees.

Government Efforts. In the last four years, the Solomon Islands have benefited from a large-scale intervention led by Australia to enhance stability after civil unrest. The Solomon Islands criminally prohibits sex and labor trafficking in Chapter 26 of its updated 1978 Penal Code, which prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for rape. The government may have prosecuted some cases of trafficking, but was unable to provide statistics. The Government of the Solomon Islands has a limited capacity to protect victims of trafficking and would need to rely on civil society or religious organizations to provide services. The Government of the Solomon Islands has not conducted public awareness or prevention programs on trafficking or child sex tourism, though in August 2007 the Prime Minister called for action against loggers sexually exploiting children at logging camps. The government does not participate in public awareness programs supported by international organizations or NGOs. The Solomon Islands has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.