Topics: Crime, Native Affairs

Native Affairs: Kiwi kids victims of child trafficking

By Peata Melbourne

* WARNING - The content in this video clip is very graphic and some viewers may find it disturbing

Child trafficking has become an industry in New Zealand that many of the Kiwi population are quite naïve to according ECPAT Director Warren Ferdinandus.

He told Native Affairs that he’s seen it first-hand through the research ECPAT have presented to Government as part of The Human Trafficking Coalition.

“To a perpetrator or to a paedophile, there is no age. We have numbers or ages ranging between 3, 12 and that's scary” says Ferdinandus.

Worker Exploitation in New Zealand: A Troubling Landscape was presented to Government in February 2017 by Coalition addressing the question – are human trafficking prosecution laws in New Zealand effective?

“Most agencies are actually screaming out is that once the law identifies a perpetrator and actually goes through the system the sentences are, in my opinion, are still very small.”

The current penalty for child traffickers in New Zealand is only 2-3 years in jail.

Manuera Life Services Counsellor Wi Waikari was working with Presbyterian Support 20 years ago tracking down the traffickers through his street connections.

“Some of the most disturbing stuff is some of our girls that have been kidnapped in a way, drugged, taken to these seedy rooms and boarding houses and just sexually abused” says Waikari.