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Human Trafficking in the Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands is a country in Oceania located to the east of Papua New Guinea. Trends show that human trafficking in the Solomon Islands occurs mostly in logging camps and fishing sectors, but some are implementing significant efforts to eliminate it.

Background

Human trafficking in the Solomon Islands is most common in the logging camps and fishing boats, which are two primary sources of income for the country. Trafficking in these areas mostly revolves around the sexual exploitation of women and girls. Another concern of the U.S Department of State is child sex tourism.

According to the 2021 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, which ranks countries as belonging to one of four tiers in their efforts to combat trafficking, the Solomon Islands are a Tier 2 country. This rating means that while the government is making significant efforts to comply with the standards set in place by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), it is not fully meeting the standards.

In September 2010, the American Bar Association set out to prevent and reduce human trafficking in the Solomon Islands with the help of the Department of State. The program aims for these five goals:

  1. Raise people’s awareness of human trafficking and provide education on how to prevent it.
  2. Improve protection for both witnesses and victims.
  3. Increase access to better support services for human trafficking survivors.
  4. Develop laws or policies to deter human trafficking.
  5. Find lawyers to serve as human trafficking experts within the Solomon Islands.

Prevention Efforts

The pandemic did not hinder the efforts toward ending human trafficking in the Solomon Islands. In fact, the Anti-Human Trafficking Advisory Committee (AHTAC), consisting of government agencies and citizens, met frequently despite the challenges that the pandemic presented.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare raised concern about human trafficking in a national address. Sogavare was concerned with trafficking in the fishing sector and announced that his government, along with international organizations, would be working on creating policies that aimed to erase sexual exploitation and modern slavery on fishing vessels operating in the Solomon Islands’ waters. According to an international organization, this address was the first time many Solomon Island citizens heard the term “human trafficking.” In the address, Sogavare also announced the completion of the National Security Strategy and National Border Strategy, which focused on migration, transnational crime, labor, trade, employment and investment, and their relationship to trafficking.

The Department of Immigration (DOI), together with the Solomon Islands Forestry Association, conducts campaigns to raise awareness about human trafficking near logging and mining sites. The campaigns focus on the consequences for those involved in human trafficking and the country’s trafficking laws.

Progress in Protection

Over the course of the pandemic, law enforcement individuals are still receiving training on victim identification and support. In 2018, authorities identified 39 potential trafficking victims and five in 2019 compared with four identified victims in 2020. One of the four victims was a foreigner living in the Solomon Islands and the other three were Solomon Islands citizens that were out of the country. Although internal sex trafficking is reportedly common, authorities did not identify any cases of sex trafficking.

In 2019, the Solomon Islands government gave $50,000 of its yearly budget to human trafficking victim care and shelter services. Despite problems and restraints caused by the pandemic, the government was still able to give $49,130 towards victim care, protection, investigation efforts and public education about human trafficking in the Solomon Islands in 2020.

The Royal Solomon Islands Police chose the capital, Honiara, as the site for a domestic violence shelter that provides aid to women and children that were sex trafficking victims. However, the government failed to provide support for adult male victims or victims of labor trafficking. Due to the location of the shelter, the protection services are difficult to access because most trafficking victims come from the provinces. The deficiencies in protection services for victims of human trafficking in the Solomon Islands likely led to fewer victims coming forward, and therefore, fewer prosecutions.

Looking Forward

In recent years, the Solomon Islands government has worked to bring an end to human trafficking within its borders. Although work still needs to occur, policies and programs are in place to bring the country closer to eliminating human trafficking.

Trystin Baker
Photo: Flickr

Rule of Law in Saudi Arabia
The rule of law in Saudi Arabia
was developed and strengthened through a partnership between the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Prince Sultan University College of Law in Saudi Arabia.

American Bar Association

The ABA was formed more than 130 years ago at a time when lawyers generally worked with domestic matters and learned the law trade by apprenticeship. International law, though, was a theme of one of the seven committees first established by the ABA, and acknowledged the importance of law in a global setting.

Lewis Powell wrote in 1965 as the ABA president about the association’s endeavor to identify “what lawyers can do of a practical character to advance the rule of law among nations.” He also identified that “the only viable alternative to the rule of force is the rule of law.”

In today’s globalized society, the ABA enforces the importance of rule of law or democratic governance in many nations like Saudi Arabia. The association states that an impartial and calculable rule of law in a country will lead to good international relations.

Rule of Law Initiative

The Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI) was created by the ABA and acts as an international development initiative to advocate for justice, economic opportunity and human dignity through the rule of law.

The initiative identifies that breaches in the rule of law have bolstered many international challenges, encompassing health pandemics, migrants escaping poverty, vicious extremism, and illegal trade of weapons, drugs and human beings. Promoting the rule of law would help alleviate these challenges, create national security and furnish economic opportunities both in the affected nation and in the United States.

Since the first rule of law program in 1990 worked exclusively in Central and Eastern Europe, the ABA then created rule of law initiatives in other nations. In 2007, the ABA decided to consolidate the five overseas rule of law programs to formulate the ROLI. 

Today, the ROLI program and more than $40 million in annual funding from governmental and private donors combines staff and consultants to work with the pro-bono expertise of ABA members to promote legal reforms in more than 50 countries.

The five core principles of the institution are:

  • Partnership
  • Empowerment
  • Inclusivity
  • Universality
  • Sustainability

To prioritize sustainable solutions to the rule of law challenge, the ROLI collaborates with in-country partners, encompassing government ministries, judges, lawyers, bar associations, law schools, court administrators, legislatures and civil society organizations. Rule of law in Saudi Arabia and other nations bolsters a more peaceful world.

ABA ROLI Partnership with Prince Sultan University

Beginning on January 21, 2018, the ABA ROLI and the Prince Sultan University College of Law in Saudi Arabia combined forces to teach 26 female law students applicable skills like accounting principles applicable to legal practice, law practice management, legal writing and oral advocacy.

The project consisted of a month-long series of classes with each week presenting on one of the applicable skills to the legal practice. The classes were taught by five pro-bono legal experts from the United States, bringing decades of legal experience to share with the aspiring law students.

This month-long development session was the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, and it provided practical skills courses that allowed female law students to gain experience on successful strategies for advancing their legal professions.

The ABA ROLI partners with many law schools worldwide to advance curricula, create clinical legal programs and strengthen skills-building activities. As evidenced by the partnership for rule of law in Saudi Arabia, the association’s assistance in preparing the next generation of legal professionals serves as a wonderful omen for future success.

– Andrea Quade

Photo: Flickr

Jordanian Law Students
Jordanian law students will get human rights coursework thanks to the American Bar Association and USAID. The Human Rights Curriculum for Jordanian law students was launched on May 15th to Jordanian law faculties. This curriculum hopes to bring innovative, multimedia approaches to the law classrooms of Jordan and improve the quality of students’ legal education. Students have been dissatisfied with their education as it has failed to keep up with evolving technologies, and this program is one solution to the complaints.

The launch brought 19 human rights law professors together as well as several other faculty members to experience and use the curriculum. Demonstrations were done as well as hands-on simulations. The curriculum was created as part of the American Bar Association’s program “Enhancing Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Jordan.” The program was designed by Jordanian and international professors and human rights experts to provide a complete picture of Jordanian law and human rights principles.

The coursework is designed to be interactive and deviates from the lecture model found in most legal classrooms. The material is conveyed through role play, case analysis, and video segments.  Each section includes history and theory regarding different aspects of human rights law.  The workshop done at the launch gave professors a glimpse into the curriculum. It gave professors the ability to learn how to implement the program and various outlets for additional resources and help.

The hope is that Jordanian law students will gain greater knowledge and skills through the more hands-on program and have a greater ability to apply the principles to real life law cases.  It will also give them a greater appreciation of the depth of human rights law and the many areas in which it applies.

-Amanda Kloeppel
Source: AME Info