St Lucia a haven for prostitution!

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Does the Kenny Anthony administration know something about human trafficking and local sex workers that forces them to treat the subject as classified? Not even a U.S. Department of State report that describes simply beautiful Helen as a haven for whores and flesh pedlars has been enough to draw a related word from our MPs on both sides of the House.

Then again, in Helen today it seems anything goes. And I mean, with the government’s endorsement, however tacit. Can you believe a TV station, while featuring our lovely carnival ladies in swimwear that might’ve earned them a prison sentence in their granny’s time, the chosen theme song was Tonight I’m F###king You?”—on Dr Jimmy’s TV?

Obviously another GIS gaff. But with the law appearing to protect batterers in high places, do you suppose an MP will stand up for the abused children of Helen? Don’t count on it!

Meanwhile in the real world potential visitors are faced with U.S. Department of State reports linking Barbados, Guyana, Haiti, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and dear Christian Saint Lucia with “trafficking in persons.” The 2013 TIP report has the named territories on its Tier to Watch list.

Meanwhile, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Jamaica, and St Vincent and the Grenadines have graduated to the Tier 2 List. According to the report, Saint Lucia is a destination country for persons subjected to forced prostitution and forced labour. Legal and illegal immigrants from Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and South Asia, especially those working in domestic service, reportedly are the groups most vulnerable to human trafficking.

As if that were not shocking enough, kids under 18 are “coerced to engage in commercial sex in St Lucia,” while sex trafficking seems reserved for the moment for foreign prostitutes.

And now, some of us who normally choose not to believe what we know to be true because it’s just not convenient to acknowledge truth will be asking: “Where dey get dat crap?” If by “they” these Doubting Thomases are referring to the U.S. Department of State, then the answer is our own RSLPF. Our police. And who should know better?

The State Department reports that several policemen here moonlight as security officers at some of the island’s strip clubs and places where “sex workers” are housed. However, the police choose to finger only the “pimps, strip-club operators, and brothel owners.”  My efforts at finding out from a trusted police source what had happened to a case involving a Jamaican whore who was allegedly raped in a police cell while awaiting deportation were to no avail. Doubtless, the DPP’s office will be bending over backwards to find out!

The US Department of State says that this country had taken “limited steps in fighting human trafficking.” The Department said our government “did not demonstrate evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking over the previous year.” Additionally that it had not made “progress in proactively identifying and assisting suspected trafficking victims or prosecuting trafficking offenders.”

In distinguishing the two “lists” Washington defines countries on the Tier 2 Watch List as those whose governments “do not fully comply” with the minimum standards in its Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards, and the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is, among other things, “very significant or is significantly increasing.”

Countries on the Tier 2 List, on the other hand, are those whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards but are simply making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.

Guyana is described by the report as a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. Jamaica is also cited as a source, transit and destination country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. The exploitation of local children in the sex trade as a form of sex trafficking “remains a serious problem.”

Sex trafficking in Jamaica, according to the report, likely occurs on the street, in night clubs, bars, and in private homes throughout Jamaica, including in resort towns. In addition, it said massage parlours in Jamaica often lured women into prostitution under the false pretence of employment as massage therapists.

The State Department also highlighted the problems in Antigua and Barbuda, Belize and St Vincent and the Grenadines.Though not named in the report the Bahamian authorities this week denied there was any evidence of child prostitution or a sex tourism trade in that country. The comments came at a press conference to discuss the government’s pleasure over the fact that The Bahamas has improved its ranking in the latest US State Department report on human trafficking. The Bahamas was upgraded from a Tier 2 watch list country to a Tier 2 country, according to the 2013 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.

 

 

 

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