Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Outreach Efforts for FAS Immigrants

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services/Guam Pacific Daily News): February 22, 2011 - Gerson Jackson, Guam's consul general for the Federated States of Micronesia, wants to conduct "Good Citizens Seminars" to help inform migrants to Guam from elsewhere in Micronesia about local laws.

The public education and outreach efforts, which also will include information for how immigrants can seek and verify information, are a great idea. The more immigrants from the Freely Associated States know about Guam's laws and customs, and how to get help, the better they will be able to acclimate and avoid potential problems.

The announcement came in the wake of a conviction in a sex trafficking case involving nine women from Chuuk. Blue House Lounge owner Song Ja Cha was convicted in federal court last week for luring the women to Guam with the promise of legitimate work. When they arrived, they were forced into offering sex for money at the lounge.

What happened to these women is inhumane. We, and the governments of the freely associated states of Micronesia, need to do more to prevent this kind of abuse and exploitation.

The seminars Jackson wants to hold could help in this regard. He wants to conduct these outreach efforts within the next two months, in Guam and elsewhere in the Micronesia region. He's hoping to get officials from public safety agencies, child services and other government agencies to help with the effort.

"The aim here is to instill in these people the basic tools and knowledge and remind them they are ambassadors of our islands," Jackson said.

This is exactly the kind of public outreach and education efforts that are needed on a regular basis. Much more must be done to better prepare immigrants from the Freely Associated States so they are aware of Guam laws and are better able to prevent themselves from being taken advantage of by others.

We strongly encourage the government of Guam and non-government organizations to help Jackson carry out these seminars, and to find a way to use them on a regular basis for future migrants to our island.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356