This is another true story in a series that HoH is doing to communicate the prevalence of domestic trafficking within Fiji:
*Mila was just 10 years-old when her parents separated and left her homeless. Out of sheer desperation Mila moved in with a 75 year-old man who was an acquaintance of the family. At first, he showed kindness to Mila by offering her shelter, food, and schooling. That all changed terribly one day when she returned from school and found a visitor waiting for her. The man told her to dress up because he wanted to take her to town. He ended up taking her to a hotel where he raped her, locked her in the room, then brought more men who repeatedly raped Mila. After many days of this, Mila managed to run away from the hotel only to find herself homeless again. Once again, shattered, hopeless - she found herself back with the 75 year-old man who ended up bringing more and more men to use her sexually.
*Mila was trafficked domestically within a nation that claims "we take care of our own". But, we don't.
Families are broken, the urban shift is stronger than ever, informal settlement populations are rising, village structure is being challenged, parents are not taking responsibility for their own children. It is a shame to the nation.
Let's look at the United Nations definition of trafficking of human beings:
The Act of...recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring, receipt of persons
...by Means of...threat, or use of force or other forms of coercion, including abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or position of vulnerability, of of giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person
...for the Purpose of...exploitation, including exploitation of the prostitution of others, other forms of sexual exploitation, forced lab our or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs
Can you pick out the act, means and purpose in Mila's story?
Homes of Hope is currently working alongside the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with funding from the European Union to establish and coordinate a targeted NGO/CSO (non-governmental organization/civil society organization) Taskforce for sharing best practice knowledge and skills, discussing the management of trafficking cases, developing a common monitoring framework for service delivery in Fiji, and coordinating advocacy and awareness campaigns in Fiji.