Editorial: The need for reporting

POSTED: 06/21/12 1:10 PM

St. Maarten’s lack of reporting on trafficking in persons may have been understandable in 2010 because the country was newly born and officials here needed to get a clear understanding of their role and the commitments they have to meet. To hear in 2012 that there is no report because there is not much to tell is just really not acceptable for multiple reasons.

The first reason is that it signifies that we are closing our eyes to a major ill in this society. Yes we’ll say again that what goes in brothels in this country is modern slavery that should shame us all as long as long as we do nothing about it. The data is not on paper because we’re still leaving the results of trafficking the realm of the taboo.

Secondly, not reporting means that the international community will not know for sure whether the country is tackling this issue and how. Stories like the one we publish today show that something is being done, but officials must take this more seriously. It is a key part of their responsibility to ensure that the nation, it successes and it challenges are highlighted to anyone who will listen in and outside of the Kingdom.

The third reason is that even if the government considers this a miniscule issue reporting will give their opinion a backing. Simply saying it’s not that bad is just not good enough. In fact many of the reports of other countries sound a lot like St. Maarten. That means the problem is bigger than we think.

The fourth reason is that documenting this issue will allow us to reach out to partners in the kingdom, the region and the international community to find joint solutions to what is obviously a global issue. We should not accept next year that this country’s position is not squarely on the table, even if what emerges is not the happiest report.

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