Concerns over increasing slave trade in Pacific

The Pacific Immigration Development Community says human trafficking to the point of slavery is increasingly common in industries like logging, mining and fishing.

The immigration watchdog says island countries are now both a source and destination for human trafficking and people smuggling.

The watchdog's head Ioane Alama said people smuggling occurs when migrants cross borders illegally but human trafficking is more sinister.

"There is always an essence of exploitation. The person being trafficked, there is a form of exploitation, either be labour, forced labour, in some cases servitude, we've heard of sexual exploitation, in terms of prostitution.

"And also more recently we're hearing references to slavery, of slavery, or practices similar to slavery."

Alama said Pacific governments are improving how they detect and prevent human trafficking through better information sharing and increased vigilance.