Friday, July 22, 2011


the purpose of human trafficking is always exploitation; nobody should be bound in servitude, treated as property, or denied their freedom.
with estimates of this hidden population at 10-30million, there are more enslaved now than at any other time in human history
modern-day slavery, like modern racism, can be less obvious, more subtle than it used to be; but that doesn’t make it less real. we may not see workers whipped in fields and kitchens as we pass by plantation houses, but do we know anything about working conditions+arrangements for dishwashers in restaurants+bars we frequent, missing persons reported in the news every night; what happens to the “disappeared”?
our attorney general says there is no empirical evidence to show the existence of human trafficking in this country, while a sunday guardian investigative report claims: “…the clandestine local trade, which operates through a well-organised network and is supported by several powerful agencies, is linked to an international human trafficking ring…they are mostly used as sex slaves and sometimes for slave labour. sometimes, they are used to make payoffs in the drug trade…the lucrative human trafficking ring is operating in the cascade/st.anns area, between sangre grande and tunapuna, diego martin and in south…”
meanwhile, international reports state that the government of trinidad+tobago does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, that child labour is rampant, from agriculture to loading+stocking goods to car washing+repair, construction, fishing, shop assistants, domestic servants, street vending, and sexual exploitation, and that for european and north american men interested in sex tourism, local tourist agencies and unlisted guesthouses offer package deals that include the cost of buying a woman.
all over the world: reports of people kidnapped, stripped of identification, violently violated to ensure fearful compliance, their families threatened to further terrorise them into obedience, and forced into servitude; “employers” keep all or most of what forced labourers earn, claiming for living expenses the enslaved must pay off to buy their freedom, at a rate higher than their wages.
trinidad+tobago is a regional hub for travel+transport of goods+services and we already know how this adds to local arms+ammunitions+drug trades; are we vigilant enough about being a destination, source and transit point for human trafficking? are we combating the internal trafficking of young girls from remote areas like guayaguayere, barrackpore, cedros, penal, drawn to “houses of ill repute” in our cities by ads promising to provide work or further education?
the purpose of human trafficking is always exploitation; nobody should be bound in servitude, treated as property, or denied their freedom.

walk good.


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