PAPUA New Guinea has received the worst possible ranking in a just-released United States government's report on human trafficking.
The report outlined numerous trafficking issues in PNG, saying the country "is a source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour.
“Foreign and local women and children are subjected to sex trafficking, domestic servitude and forced begging or street vending,” the report said.
“Foreign and local men are subjected to forced labour in logging and mining camps as well as on fishing vessels operating in PNG's exclusive economic zone."
The report estimated that 19% of PNG’s labour market was comprised of child workers, "some of whom are subjected to forced labour or prostitution."
It added that NGO sources indicated the number of children exploited in prostitution increased by 30% in 2013.
"Government officials reportedly facilitate trafficking by accepting bribes to allow undocumented migrants to enter the country or ignore trafficking situations," the report said.