“I also have difficulty with the assumption that men are the only people those women have to fear.
Information at my disposal suggests that there are more than a few violence-prone, bullying ‘madams’ operating in Barbados.”
by Junior Campbell, All Voices
The first arrests for human trafficking by Barbadian authorities may have done little to reassure the US State Department about the country’s commitment to addressing this stain to its human rights record.
This seems to be the gist of a story appearing in the Nation newspaper today. Under the headline “Ring busted,” the local paper reports, “Police have smashed what they believe is a human trafficking ring here, and for the first time have charged individuals with this crime.
“As a result, a man and a woman will appear in court today jointly charged with human trafficking,” it continues.
And Inspector David Welch, the Royal Barbados Police Force’s (RBPF) public relations officer, is said to have confirmed that “the two were charged following a police raid of a bar in Nelson Street, The City, last Thursday.”
The paper also credits unnamed “reliable sources” for informing it that the man, a 22-year-old and the bar’s 36-year-old proprietress were arrested after police found five Guyanese women, dressed only in bathing suits, working in the bar.
“The five were between 17 and 21 years old” the report continues. It also says that investigations revealed that the women were not in possession of their passports and documentations and that there was evidence that they were part of a regional trafficking operation.
Passports are usually held by sex traffickers and other traders in human degradation and misery to prevent those they exploit from fleeing escaping their clutches.
As the Nation puts it, “Human trafficking is a crime in which traffickers profit from the exploitation of individuals lured to places where they can be controlled. Victims are promised a better life and good jobs, but then forced into dangerous, illegal or abusive work.”
That description actually recalls some of the conditions of employment that prompted me to launch a Domino’s Pizza corporate culture rehabilitation exactly a year ago. I had by then been employed with the American-based global fast-food giant for approximately five years.
It also recalls the following conditions exchange students accused McDonald’s of making them work under earlier this year – again as reported by this writer: being sometimes required to work for 25 hours at a time with no overtime; being housed eight to a room in substandard housing; being expected to be ready to turn up for work at any time with only 30 minutes notice and having to pay $3,000 each “for the privilege” of such abuse on American soil.
The point here is the same made by the Nation: “Human trafficking is a rapidly expanding global phenomenon and is said to have many faces, including domestic servitude, forced labour and sexual slavery.”
One apparent case of human trafficking in Barbados made the headlines there and beyond when a number of Indian males working on the construction of a hotel ahead of the Caribbean’s first hosting of the Cricket World Cup in 2007 made even more shocking allegations of their terms of employment – including wages of about US$1 per week.
Attempts to find the original Nation or other online stories on this scandal proved futile.
… continue reading this article at All Voices: Barbados’ first human trafficking arrests and US State Department concerns