Homes of Hope has 24 years of experience combating sexual exploitation and trafficking within Fiji. We strongly desire to share our knowledge, lessons learnt, policies and procedures, learning tools - with other relevant organizations. Through a European Union funded grant, Homes of Hope has the extreme honor of chairing a task force comprised of 19 different civil society organizations, where we collaborate efforts, strengths, contacts, reach and resources to combat sex trafficking in Fiji.
Membership of the task force includes representatives from each of the Hindu and Muslim faiths; six groups from the Christian faith; Pacific Conference of Churches; Soqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei; Save the Children (SCF); Medical Services Pacific (MSP); Empower Pacific; Salvation Army; Reproductive and Family Health of Fiji (RFHAF); Red Cross; Advisory council of CSOs; Women’s Action Forum and Pacific Students for Christ (PSFC).
This positive development was further strengthened from 23-26 November, when Homes of Hope and International Organization for Migration (IOM) facilitated a four-day National training on countering trafficking in human beings. A total of 21 representatives from 19 civil society organizations attended, from all three Divisions of Fiji. Leading up to this National event, weekly Zoom calls were conducted with the representatives, as well as District meetings - all for the purpose of laying the groundwork for the National training time. The training aimed at building the capacity of the civil society organizations to better understand the nature of human trafficking in Fiji and be able to deliver appropriate support services to victims of trafficking in a way that is consistent to international standards and best practices.
Pastor Mark Roche, Executive Director of HoH, was quoted as saying: "We are happy to share our experience in working with girls and women who are survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking with the wider civil society sector through this training."
The 4-day training covered concepts such as understanding trafficking in human beings, how to identify victims of trafficking, case management, building efficient referral pathways and delivering trauma-informed care approach for victims of trafficking in Fiji.
"Establishing appropriate, efficient and effective referral pathways where civil society organizations, government ministries and UN agencies such as IOM are working in partnership is critical as we look towards providing a victim-centered approach in rehabilitating and re-integrating survivors of trafficking and other forms of exploitation," said Pastor Mark.
This training effort is only the beginning of a journey where Fijian civil society organizations join hands to work together to combat sex trafficking, a growing criminal enterprise.
Please visit our website, Homes of Hope Fiji, to join our team through prayer, giving, educating others, visiting, or volunteering.