Law to Take Effect in June 2014
After being signed into law at the end of March, American Samoa’s new anti-human trafficking laws will come into effect in June. Acting Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga said the legislation will allow the government to investigate and prosecute those who would exploit others. He also said, “There have been human trafficking cases in American Samoa recently, and the victims haven’t been limited by age, gender, ethnicity, nationality or village.” The law also mandates that a human trafficking task force collect data, and recommend policies and procedures.
The new law makes human trafficking punishable by five to ten years in prison, with ten years being mandatory for trafficking a minor. Advocates for victims of human trafficking welcome the new law saying it will raise awareness about behaviour that may be identified as human trafficking.