Akuila Ratu

Akuila Ratu

  • Head of Secretariat
  • Pacific Immigration Development Community, Samoa

Mr. Akuila Ratu is the Head of the Pacific Immigration Development Community (PIDC) Secretariat based in Apia, Samoa. Akuila is a Fijian national and is the longest serving staff of PIDC having worked with PIDC and its membership for the last 16 years. Akuila was a former civil servant of the Fijian government prior to joining PIDC.

Akuila has worked closely with Heads of Immigration agencies, Directors, Managers and Officers from immigration agencies across the Pacific over the last 16 years supporting PIDC Members in the areas of capacity building, legislation and policy reform, information sharing and coordination, institutional strengthening and regional agenda setting for its membership. Mr. Ratu has also been heavily involved with Pacific Island Countries on regional issues impacting immigration agencies and law enforcement across the Pacific, serving on peak regional bodies like the Pacific Island Forum’s regional technical working groups in addition to undertaking advocacy for PIDC members in regional and international forums. Akuila is a strong supporter of partnership approaches and has been an advocate of the Pacific Regional Law Enforcement Partnership arrangement between immigration, customs and Police through their respective regional Secretariats at the Pacific Immigration Development Community, Oceania Customs Organization and the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police.

Akuila is a graduate of the University of the South Pacific with a Degree in History, Politics and Geography in addition to being a graduate and Alumni of the University of York in the United Kingdom with a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration. Akuila has worked in varying roles with PIDC including as the Deputy Head of Secretariat prior to taking up his new role as the Head of Secretariat in March 2023.

Sessions

  • Managing Migration (organised crime as cover for migrant smuggling and THB)

    It is well established that organised crime groups are able to adapt and evolve to use any weakness or vulnerability at our borders as a cover for nefarious activities. The migration crises we are experiencing on the southern borders of the US and EU offer prime opportunities for criminal activities, including smuggling migrants for money, which is generally a voluntary transaction but leaves migrants dangerously exposed to death, injury and abuse, and THB, which is the forced trafficking of persons. Regions of Asia are also experiencing unprecedented levels of THB, often for the vice trade. What are the latest challenges with migrant smuggling and THB, how do these two crimes differ in terms of methodology and how does can the international community combat cross-border crimes or irregular migration?