Alicia A.G. Limtiaco, U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, and Sarah Thomas-Nededog, vice president, West Care Pacific Islands, were invited to speak at the Micronesian Chief Executives Summit held on Dec. 4-6, 2013, on Saipan.
Limtiaco and Thomas-Nededog spoke on the topic “Preventing Human Trafficking in the Pacific Region,” and shared information on the Pacific Regional Response to Combat Human Trafficking initiative, which is a collaborative effort among the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Districts of Guam and the NMI, the National District Attorneys Association, the U.S. Department of State, the Department of the Interior, Guam Human Trafficking Task Force, NMI Human Trafficking Intervention Coalition, and other community partners.
Limtiaco andThomas-Nededog also discussed the intersection and relationship between human trafficking, sexual assault, child abuse and domestic and family violence, and prevention and enforcement efforts in the Pacific region.
The “Pacific Regional Response to Combat Human Trafficking” initiative employs a multidisciplinary model, including participation, coordination, and collaboration among law enforcement, prosecution, victim service providers, social services, medical, mental and public health professionals; faith-based organizations, educational institutions, consulates, and other community stakeholders.
The response calls for the establishment and provision of victim services, investigation and prosecution of human trafficking, training opportunities, community outreach/ public awareness and prevention programs, and creation of human trafficking task forces and coalitions in the Pacific region island communities. Providing fundamental training in human trafficking, including victimization, investigation and prosecution, prevention efforts, and other related topics, to stakeholders in the Pacific region island communities is critical to effective prevention and enforcement efforts in the region.
The MCES is composed of the chief executives of Guam, the CNMI, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia. The governors of each of the Federated States of Micronesia— Chuuk, Yap, Pohnpei, and Kosrae—are also members. The primary purpose of the MCES is to coordinate and implement regional strategies to assist its member jurisdictions. (USAO)