— FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –
THREE HUMAN TRAFFICKERS FACE TRIAL IN NELSON HIGH COURT
NELSON, NEW ZEALAND.
The trial of three Indian men following their arrests in August 2014 will go ahead today (9 November 2015) in the High Court in Nelson. Stand Against Slavery’s CEO, Peter Mihaere says, “It is good to see that these men are standing trial on the charges of trafficking eighteen Indian nationals into the horticulture industry in Motueka. This is something that kiwis do not realise happens on a regular basis here in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and as I said in August last year, this is the tip of the ice berg.”
Mihaere confirmed that he will be in attendance at the opening statements of the trial and will be closely monitoring how this landmark trial holds up in the New Zealand judicial system. “We need to send a message to those who think New Zealand is an attractive place to sell slaves into our workforce, that we as a country will not stand for such dehumanising behaviour.” Mihaere also wants this trial to send a message to those who are vulnerable in our communities, “that justice is coming for them and if they can, to reach out for help. Call Crimestoppers, an anonymous helpline, on 0800 555 111; call your local police station; call on community groups; call your neighbour; call a local church; ask for help. Call anyone, and someone will connect you to the right people” Mihaere insists, “We want to see the end of slavery and human trafficking here in New Zealand because we do not want this ‘invisible community’ exploited any longer.”
“Severe worker exploitation, slavery and human trafficking in New Zealand is being highlighted more and more in our newsfeeds and we need to crack down on this insidious issue,” Mihaere says, “that’s why Stand Against Slavery, along with five other organisations, have commissioned the University of Auckland to conduct research on the prevalence of slavery and human trafficking in NZ. We need more people interviewed who are experiencing worker exploitation at the severest level. If you know of someone who is prepared to talk to a researcher go to workerexploitation.co.nz to make contact for a confidential interview.”
Mihaere goes further to suggest that it is extremely important for government and civil society to work together. “By working together”, Mihaere continues, “we can shut the New Zealand slave trade down for good. If we continue to work in silos we are simply creating more opportunity for this crime to slip through the cracks. It’s not enough for people to say we should work together, we actually have to do it.”
For more information, please contact Peter Mihaere, CEO on 021-451-429 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stand Against Slavery | PO Box 12220, Penrose, Auckland 1642