Naomi, who has now quit sex work and been sober for a year, said she’s seen it too. Within the space of six weeks, while doing community outreach through her church, she estimated that she met half a dozen sex workers around the ages of 13 and 14.
“You can't just go to a needle exchange in the Pacific, so needles will be shared, [and] you're going to have a spread of HIV and AIDS… The Pacific is not ready for the tsunami that'll come healthwise related to this.”
“If it wasn't for the consumption of cocaine or meth in both Australia and New Zealand, then this just wouldn't exist… Someone gives you cocaine at a party, and you say, ‘Oh I'll have some, what a great time’. It has consequences.”
In his February report, Sousa-Santos noted that narco-corruption in the Pacific has undermined the rule of law and compromised individuals across a number of key agencies, including customs, police, and immigration. A worrying potential outcome of that is what he described to VICE World News as a “shadow power structure,” where drug bosses and syndicates have more money and influence than traditional institutions and are thus able to exert their dominion over the people.“If action is not taken immediately, and appropriately, then what we are looking at over the next several years is some Pacific Island countries becoming semi-narco states… areas which are under the control of these indigenous criminal syndicates,” he said. “That's catastrophic, because then how do you address that?”
“If action is not taken immediately, and appropriately, then what we are looking at over the next several years is some Pacific Island countries becoming semi-narco states.”