Torture in  [Tonga]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Tonga]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Tonga]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Tonga]  [other countries]

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

In the early years of the 21st Century                                            

Kingdom of Tonga

Tonga has a small, open, South Pacific island economy. It has a narrow export base in agricultural goods. Squash, vanilla beans, and yams are the main crops. Agricultural exports, including fish, make up two-thirds of total exports.

Tonga has a reasonably sound basic infrastructure and well developed social services. High unemployment among the young, a continuing upturn in inflation, pressures for democratic reform, and rising civil service expenditures are major issues facing the government.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Tonga

Scope and Magnitude.[2008] There were no confirmed reports that persons were trafficked to, from, or within the country. However, a public health facility identified 14 minors engaged in commercial sexual exploitation during the year and there were other isolated reports of women and underage girls in commercial sexual exploitation. There were reports that members of foreign fishing vessel crews solicited Tongan underage girls for commercial sex. There were unsubstantiated reports of employers holding travel documents or salaries as a means to compel labor and restrain Philippine nationals working in Tonga. There were also unconfirmed reports that some nationals from the People’s Republic of China working legally and illegally in Tonga may have been coerced into prostitution or forced labor.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2008   [full country report]



CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Tonga.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate their content.

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Former Human Trafficking Victim Speaks Out

KGMB CBS 9 News - May 3rd 2008

[accessed 11 June 2013]

HAWAII - This young Tongan named Francis came here in 2001, Lueleni Maka promised him $240 a week. He was paid only $20.  "I ask him about the rest of my money. Said he sent em back to my family, so I called my parents and they said they never get nothing from him," said former victim Francis.

Maka told Francis he would turn him into immigration if he tried to escape the pig farm he stayed at.  "He make me afraid of him. He hit me a couple of times. yeah. metal frames, I get scars on my back from him. Get guys they worse than me. He beat 'em up till blood coming out their mouth and nose. it's very sad. We cannot do nothing. we so scared of him," Francis said.

The Department of Labor’s 2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor [PDF]

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2007

[accessed 31 December 2010]

[page 420]  INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - There are no reports of child labor existing in the formal or informal economy. During 2006, there were increased reports of workers on foreign fishing vessels soliciting underage girls for prostitution.

CHILD LABOR LAWS AND ENFORCEMENT - Tonga does not have legislation setting the minimum age for work. The law prohibits slavery, which can be interpreted to include forced or bonded labor. The owning and/or operating of a brothel, pimping, and soliciting in a public place are all prohibited by the law. Penalties for offenses range from imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years. The law also prohibits any person from assaulting a child in an indecent manner, abducting girls, and procuring or attempting to procure any girl under the age of 21 for trafficking for prostitution. The maximum punishment for these offenses is imprisonment for up to 5 years. There is no military conscription in Tonga.

Human Rights Reports » 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 6, 2007

[accessed 31 December 2010]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – While the law does not specifically address trafficking in persons, violators could be prosecuted under antislavery statutes. There were no reports that persons were trafficked to, from, or within the country.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 5   Civil Liberties: 3   Status: Partly Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 28 June 2012]

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Torture in  [Tonga]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Tonga]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Tonga]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Tonga]  [other countries]