Business as Usual

The United States criticized four of its closest allies in the Middle East on Friday, saying Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are doing little if anything to stop forced labor and other forms of "modern slavery" within their borders.

The four countries are among 14 "Tier III" nations that the State Department said had a serious problem with trafficking in persons and made little or no effort to control it, despite prodding from the United States. Citation as a Tier III country can trigger economic penalties.

"Trafficking in human beings is nothing less than a modern form of slavery," said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking at a news conference introducing the government's fifth annual Trafficking in Persons Report.

In Saudi Arabia, said John R. Miller, the State Department's senior adviser on trafficking, "We have domestic workers being brought in from many countries into domestic servitude, child beggars, a lot of beatings, reports of beatings and rape - very difficult to get shelter, no convictions."

Saudi Arabia is a key American ally and oil supplier whose leader, Crown Prince Abdullah, visited President Bush at his Texas ranch in April. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, along with Qatar, are also allies, and the United States maintains an important military base in Qatar. The criticisms of the four countries were similar. All four nations, the report says, imported workers from the region, from the Middle East and Asia and then effectively enslaved them.

"Some foreign women who migrate legally to Kuwait as domestic workers," the report says, "are subsequently abused by their employers or coerced into situations of debt bondage or involuntary servitude," the legal term for slavery. In the United Arab Emirates, "women are trafficked" from many nations "for the purpose of sexual exploitation."

Saudi Arabia, the report adds, discourages victims from complaining. "The government offers no legal aid to foreign workers," the report says, "and does not otherwise assist them in using the Saudi criminal justice system to bring exploiters to justice. If a victim chooses to file a complaint, he or she is not allowed to work."

None of the embassies of the four countries responded to requests for comment.

The government was particularly critical of Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates for allowing young children to be held in captivity and used as jockeys in camel races, "a multi-million dollar activity" in the Persian Gulf states. Tiny children, some 3 or 4 years old, are prized, and they are underfed to keep their weight down, the report notes.

"Some boys as young as 6 months old were reported kidnapped and sold to traffickers and raised to become camel jockeys." Others, it adds, "were sold by their parents to traffickers." Recently, it adds, one fell off his camel and was trampled to death.

In Kuwait, it says, "some have been thrown from the camels they rode and suffered serious neurological damage. Most no longer remember where they came from." The United States estimates that about 800,000 people are trafficked against their will between nations each year, and that many hundreds of thousands more are enslaved within their own nations.

The government also estimates that about 15,000 people are trafficked to the United States each year. That estimate has fallen since the Central Intelligence Agency issued the first one in 2000. Then it was estimated that as many as 50,000 people were trafficked to the United States from a dozen foreign countries each year.

Sourced from WashingtonPost and Cox & Forkum


If something like this were to be perpetrated by us Infidels against Muslims, there would be an international outcry, vilified from pillar to post.
The recent Koran desecration caused such a furore, Gitmo CSI was investigating the possibility of air particles from urine touching the same air as that touching the Koran, oh my God you couldn't even fart in the presence of the Koran, here come the fatwas, jihad and Allah Akbar.

Politicians and western leaders careful not to offend Muslims, lest they cry discrimination or racism, bending over backwards to accommodate them, meanwhile back in the motherlands, its just business as usual.

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