Save the Children Australia has yesterday launched its finding on their research based on the dynamics of child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, (CSEC).
The research was carried out in three provinces namely, Malaita, Guadalcanal including Honiara; and Choiseul provinces.
Identified hotspots on the research were carried out were mainly based in areas where there was logging, fishing, and commercial activities were taking place.
The findings were officially launched by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youths, Women, Children and family Affairs Ethel Sigimanu.
In her remarks to officially launch the research findings Mrs Sigimanu Said, “to finally launch this report is a significant milestone for Solomon Islands. The evidence, which we now have through the research, confirms the plight of many children where commercial sexual exploitation is concerned. The evidence also urges us to seriously address a growing and emerging issue in this country and the world over.
“The research findings have given us the basis for moving forward in a clear and concise manner.”
Meanwhile Australian Deputy High Commissioner Dave Pebbles said, the future of this country was undermined.
“Did you know that youth make up over 60 per cent of the population in Solomon Islands? That’s a staggering figure.
“Representing such a huge percentage of the population, the youth are the future of this country. And every time a child is forced into marriage, made to work in physically and mentally damaging environments and subjected to sexual abuse, the future of this country is undermined.
“Save the Children’s research is a starting point. A starting point where we can understand the issues and begin to work together to ensure all children have access to their fundamental rights to a good education, a childhood free from harmful labour and free from sexual abuse.”
The research project was co-funded by the Australian Government and the European Union (EU) in partnership with the Ministry of Youths Women, Children and Family Affairs.
By CHARLEY PIRINGI