Friday, April 19, 2024
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65 PALM workers had extra-marital affairs

Since the inception of the Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme in 2019, 65 out of the 4,351 Fijian workers or 1.5 per cent have been involved in extra-marital affairs.

This was revealed by the Minister for Employment, Agni Deo Singh, in Parliament on Thursday.

Singh said while the percentage is insignificant, even one family was abandoned by the breadwinner or the head of the family and this should be a matter of deep concern to all of us.

He said the number of reported cases received on welfare issues under the scheme began in 2021 and this is a major social-impact faced by workers families here in Fiji, including related issues such as non-communication and no remittance.

“A vast majority of them, when they get involved in such affairs, they abscond. They are not at their work site where they were, they run away from the employers and hide somewhere else, so we lose contact with them and our High Commission Officials – our counterparts in Australia and DFAT Officials try to locate them.”

“We have been able to solve only three cases.”

“The Employment Ministry has identified that pastoral care and welfare support is key to addressing vulnerability, and this is being done through the appointment of our first Country Liaison Officer.”

Singh said a second liaison officer has been provided for by the Government to assist due to the vast country of Australia and those workers spread throughout.

“We are now in conversation with the Australian Government to provide funding for one more,” Singh added.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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