Wednesday, 17 September 2008 2:12 PM

Sexual Exploitation in Isabel Link to Logging

It has been revealed that logging companies operating in the Isabel Province target unfortunate families, luring them with money in exchange for their daughters.

According to Isabel's Deputy Provincial Secretary, John Mark Lokumana, Asian loggers arrive in Isabel and employ very young girls from the villages to work as domestic servants, and over time these young girls live with the Asian loggers with the consent of their parents.

Similarly to Makira Province, many of these villagers are landowners who have been lured by loggers' promises of money, good modern homes, and business opportunities.

"The Asians are only interested in very young girls and the land owners have allowed their daughters, who have dropped out from grade six or early high school to marry these Asian loggers. Many of these teenage girls are left with children in the end while the Asian loggers return to their country," says the Deputy Secretary.

In a recent case in a logging camp called Pahena, near Kia village, there was an Asian logger who married a very young daughter of one of the landowners and bought the family a few things with promises of many more.

Lokumana said that when the Asian logger found out that the Government was investigating his entrance into the country, he brought his young wife to Honiara and after sorting things out he sent the girl home and without her knowledge the logger left the country for good.

Lokumana said that this has been a common practice among Asian loggers who lure young girls and their family with promises of money. According to him, there many more such cases of exploitation within Logging camps in Isabel.

Lokumana also revealed that the Isabel Province gets very little revenue from logging companies operating in Isabel.

With National Express

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