PALIKIR, POHNPEI. March 5, 2012 – The Seventeenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia adjourned its third Regular Session with passage of the Human Trafficking Act along with the United Nation’s Convention Against Corruption and two protocols under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Speaker Isaac V. Figir introduced Congressional Bill 17-78 to create a new subchapter under Title 11 of the FSM Code to define crimes relating to trafficking in persons and related offenses along with the appropriate penalties for their violation. According to the legislation, “a person who knowingly recruits, transports, transfers, harbors, or receives another person for the purpose of exploitation, by threat, use of force, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability…shall be guilty of human trafficking.”
Congress passed the legislation as Congressional Act (CA) 17-37 to allow for prosecution of activities related to human trafficking conducted in the FSM or by FSM nationals. The Act is intended to address FSM’s obligations arising from its accession to the Palermo Protocol and the first step toward its obligations is the criminalizing of human trafficking.
The other international legislations approved by Congress in its Third Regular Session include Congressional Resolution (CR)17-87, to approve FSM’s accession to the Optional Protocol on the
Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Under the same UN Convention, CR 17-89 approved accession to the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.
Congress also adopted CR 17-92, to approve of the FSM’s accession to the UN’s Convention Against Corruption.
In addition to the legislations for the UN Conventions, Congress adopted 22 other resolutions among which included some of the executive’s outstanding nominations for certain national Boards of Director and Commissions:
To the MiCare Board of Directors: CR 17-72, for Kapilly Capelle as Pohnpei State Representative and CR 17-73, for Arthy G. Nena as National Government Representative;
for the National Elections Commissioner: CR 17-74 for Henry Robert as Kosrae Election Commission, CR 17-75 Nickson Bossy for the Chuuk Election Commission, CR 17-76 for John Chugen for the Yap Election Commission and CR 17-81 for Ioanis Sahm for the Pohnpei Election Commission;
to the Board of FSM Social Security: CR 17-78 for Rose Nakanaga and CR 17-79 for Gillian Doone; and
rounding out the nominations is CR 17-80 for Yalmer Helgenberger for the FSM Petroleum Board of Directors.
Along with the adopted resolutions, Congress had passed mostly amendments to existing public projects in the various states, a supplemental budget request and CA 17-33, a legislation to appropriate funding for Public Projects and Social in the four states.
The legislation was signed as Public Law 17-34 on February 09 with a list of line-item vetoes to which was later overridden by the Congress and became Public Law 17-37.
Details of the legislative measures and their corresponding Committee Reports are available on the Congress website at: www.fsmcongress.fm
Congress will convene on March 19th for the Third Special Session of the 17th FSM Congress as called by the President. The Special Session as called by the President is expected for 15-days in Palikir.
As usual, sessions of the FSM Congress begin at 10am and are opened to the interested general public.