HUMAN trafficking is on the rise in Fiji and the world.
And Fiji takes the crime of human trafficking very seriously and people need to be aware of their rights under the law.
This was highlighted by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, during the launch of the human trafficking public awareness program for 2013 and anti-human trafficking workshop at the Holiday Inn in Suva yesterday.
Mr Pryde said human trafficking was a crime against the individual's basic human rights.
He said since the Fijian government brought in specific offences for human trafficking in 2010, there had been two successful prosecutions in the country.
"We have had two successful prosecutions in Fiji, the most recent being two months ago and there are three more cases before the courts," he said.
He said heavy sentences had been handed down already as deterrents.
Mr Pryde said in terms of sentencing for human trafficking offences the court had established clear tariffs for the offences and Fiji's approach was a guide in the region.
"Workshop is about raising public awareness and aimed primarily at those who may be victims of human trafficking."
He said their aim was to educate people, refine them so that they were aware that Fiji had laws against human trafficking and secondly that they could receive assistance if they found themselves in such situations.
Mr Pryde also revealed that later in the year they would form a national referral mechanism comprising representatives of government departments and NGOs (non-government organisations) to provide better support and protection for victims of human trafficking and provide better co-ordinated approach to support investigation and prosecution.