As Thailand Admits Sea-Dump of
Rohingya, UN Hasn't Studied as Trafficking, Costa in Uganda
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, February 12 -- For
weeks, scandal has swirled around Thai's practice of pulling boats of
refugees from Myanmar out to sea and leaving them to the elements. It
reported that some of the flow of Rohingya is attributable to human
trafficking. Thailand's prime minister on Thursday admitted the towing
happened. In New York, the head of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime
Maria Costa while launching a report on trafficking was asked about the
plight. We did not look at this, Mr. Costa said. You're not kidding.
Costa was more expansive in his answer to Inner City
about the abuse of human trafficking investigations to identify and
undocumented migrants. It is a grey
zone, Costa said. Just as there is a difference between a twelve year
chained to a bed made to "perform" a hundred times a time, he said,
and a sex worker, so there is a different between an illegal migrant
to come, and a trafficked person who does not. Laws can be abused, in
But does the UN sound alarms?
Rohingya pulled out to sea by Thais per CNN, UN not shown
not. Inner City Press asked
Costa to name the banks which,
he says, have been infused with drug money in
the wake of the financial crisis. We work with governments, Costa said.
not here to criticize governments but to work with them. So what about
which pushes the Rohingya out, and denied they ever lived there?
After his briefing, Costa told Inner City Press
about his trip to
Uganda, and about his blog.
He appeared looser than before; he had signed a
Compact with Ban Ki-moon. Some say there is trouble at the UN in
Vienna. But on
Thursday, Costa smiled.
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