FSM puts in place "Trafficking in Person" legislation
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): March 23, 2012 - On March 16, President Manny Mori approved Congressional Act number 17-37, designating it to become Public Law number 17-38, amending Title 11 of the Code of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to define certain crimes relating to "trafficking in persons" and prescribe penalties for violations.
In his letter to Speaker Isaac V. Figir, President Mori stressed the importance of the passage of the legislation, saying that it is "an important first step in implementing some of the obligations that FSM assumed by accession to the Palermo Convention and the United Nations Optional Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Person".
The FSM President submitted to Congress a proposed bill entitled "Trafficking in Person Act of 2011" on August 30, 2011 after the August 5 adoption of Resolution 17-15 - a resolution to adopt the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Person (TIP).
After the submission of a proposed TIP legislation, Congress took some time to carefully review the measure as it was a "first impression in the FSM", requiring broad multilateral review, interaction and support. What eventually completed after seven months in Congressional Act 17-37 was a creation of Congress, with input from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The Act was an improvement on what was initially proposed by the Department of Justice as it incorporates a specific section in the law that defines an additional offense of "aggravated human trafficking", which carries a penalty of not more than 30 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of not less than $5,000 but not more than $25,000. Additionally, the legislation directs the Department of Justice to establish guidelines and procedures for providing assistance and protection to trafficking victims and witnesses in the FSM, and defines the rights for trafficking victims, including immunity from criminal prosecution for acts of human trafficking.
The offenses that are specifically defined in the legislation along with penalties are human smuggling, aggravated human smuggling, human trafficking, trafficking in children, aggravated human trafficking, exploiting a trafficked person and offenses relating to fraudulent travel or identity documents. Moreover, the legislation obligates commercial carriers servicing the FSM to carefully ascertain that passengers possess necessary travel documents and provides a $1000 penalty fee per passenger, with the possibility of outright cancellation of authority to operate in the FSM for repeated non-compliance.
According to the Department of Justice, TIP offenders will face specific penalties as now clearly indicated and defined in the law. However, further study is necessary in order for the department to develop appropriate guidelines in support of "victims and witnesses" of human trafficking as mandated in the new legislation.
For more information, please contact the Department of Justice at 320-2680 or through email@example.com.
For further information on this release, please contact:
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