Barbados is listed as a special case country in the just-released report from the US State Department on Trafficking in Persons. “Special case” status means that countries exhibited indications of trafficking in persons, but much of the evidence is anecdotal or unsubstantiated by government reports. The report acknowledges the efforts by the Barbados government to take action against this scourge. Note that the integrity of the report is compromised by the US pulling punches with some countries’ rankings, most notably India’s. The US Secretary of State herself intervened and changed the document drafters’ recommendation of a tier 3 ranking to be given to India (the worst) to tier 2, so as not to offend one of the US’ important allies.
This note was included in an email which was received from a BU reader. The person did indicate that it was forwarded to Barbados Free Press as well to provide “material for a new thread”. BU says a big thank you!
The population mix of Barbados is majority black and therefore for BU to reconcile that human trafficking has been reported as taking place by Barbados in the recently released US State Department document on trafficking in persons is nauseating. The categorization that Barbados has grabbed “special case” status because of anecdotal and unsubstantiated evidence provides little comfort for an island which is known for its conservative and Christian leaning.
Before we focus on the implications for Barbados BU must highlight the double standards which exist in a world where the USA as a super power is prepared to make decisions devoid of morality and ethical considerations. It is no secret that India has been known for many years now as a country where child labor and human trafficking is rampant. Despite what is known, the USA through its Secretary of State Rice, a black woman, would dare to manipulate the report to reflect India in a more favorable light.
The reason for such blatant hypocrisy you ask? India is an important ally in Asia.
An interesting observation is that other allies in that part of the world have gotten the worst rating, that of tier 3 and President Bush will have to make a decision after a 3 month grace period has expired.
“Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman and Qatar – all considered valuable allies in the so-called global war on terror – were added to the category deemed the worst offenders in “modern-day slavery,” in the annual U.S. State Department report on human trafficking. “
The 2007 report, rating 164 countries in all, lists 16 countries in its lowest “Tier 3” category, making them subject to possible cutoffs of non-humanitarian U.S. aid, if applicable. BU say this is baloney. No way USA will sanction the six countries mentioned above. The countries all and sundry are aware happen to be strategic partners of the USA in that part of the world. These are all countries which are actively engaged in the war on terror, the brain child of Bush and his lieutenant Blair.
Back to Barbados!
The report although lacking in hard evidence did report:
In December, a Barbadian race car driver was charged with “exercising control of movement” of two Ukrainian women in prostitution and withholding their passports, as well as pimping and living off the proceeds of prostitution. The magistrate responsible for the case dropped the charges because the two victims had already been deported. However, the government continued to prosecute a 2005 case against a local construction company for allegedly trafficking 14 Indian laborers to work on infrastructure improvements.
It is interesting that the “Barbadian race car driver” whose face was on the front page of a Nation Newspaper story back in December 2006 name was not mentioned in the story. It makes BU wonder who were the persons responsible in Barbados for feeding information to the US government agency on this one. Is it the resident US Embassy? We just wonder what is discussed at the Ambassador’s many cocktail parties when matters such as this one features. among a certain group.
Here is an extract from the report on how the US government views the problem of human trafficking in Barbados:
Scope and Magnitude
Anecdotal information suggests that Barbados may be a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation, but there is no evidence yet of a significant number of trafficking victims. Some trafficking of minors into prostitution is allegedly facilitated by victims’ families.Uncorroborated reports indicate that women and girls from Guyana, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean islands are trafficked to Barbados for sexual exploitation in strip clubs and brothels, as well as for domestic servitude. According to the IOM, some economic migrants may have been deceived by fraudulent offers of legitimate jobs and placed in debt-bonded prostitution after their travel documents were confiscated.
Now tell us folks,have you ever read so much rubbish? Why all of Barbados know that “some body” is responsible for all the women from Guyana, Dominican Republic and Jamaica that enter Barbados. Some of the girls from the Dominican Republic can hardly mutter a word of English yet they are able to attract clients and BU does not mean clients from Nelson Street or Bush Hill. More like those “big shots” on the West Coast and prominent guests who visit our country on business.
Anyway let BU stop!
Barbados is a small island, 23 miles long and 14 miles wide. BU struggles with the idea that Barbados should be involved in human trafficking. Unless they are smuggled in at “unofficial ports” of entry the “human cargo” must enter at Grantley Adams or the Bridgetown Port. How can girls from Dominican Republic or Cuba who can speak little or no English enter our island? It is obvious our officials are either incompetent or on the take!
What BU know for sure is that Barbadians who traffic must be from the elite in the country. This fact makes the problem one that will stick with us for sometime to come.