Wed, Jan 12, 2005 - Page 5 News List

Britain recruiting social workers for tiny Pitcairn

AP , WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND

Britain is offering social workers what could be the ultimate challenge -- work in a community notorious for sex abuse at one of the world's most isolated locations, Pitcairn Island.

Britain's Safe Overseas Services posted job advertisements in New Zealand newspapers yesterday seeking two social workers for the British protectorate.

The three-and-a-half month postings, funded by the British government, will see successful appli-cants work in a community of just 47 people, including six men last year found guilty of underage sex crimes, and others preparing to stand trial on similar charges.

Former mayor Steve Christian was convicted in October of five rapes and sentenced to three years in prison. His son, Randy was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of four rapes and other sex assaults.

The convicted six will not begin their sentences until next month at the earliest, after appeals have been heard based on whether Britain has jurisdiction over the island.

The job ad asked for applicants with an understanding of the dynamics of sexual abuse for victims and offenders, but did not specifically refer to the trauma Pitcairn's tiny community has faced. The posting is from Feb. 22 to June 3.

The island community was split over the trials. The trials of another six Pitcairn islanders on a range of sex charges are expected to take place in New Zealand this year.

The ad hints at the island's isolation and living conditions.

"As this position involves living and working with one other colleague in a remote situation, applications from suitably qualified applicants with experience of working together are especially welcome," it notes.

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