Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Let their people go

The "only democracy in the Middle East" still has a long way to go to reach the civilised world's standards for elimination of human trafficking, according to a US State Department report. According to the report, "Israel is a destination country for men and womnen subject to forced labor and sex trafficking". In other words, if you want to sell your daughters into child prostitution and your sons into slavery, Israel's buying.

In fairness, the report says there are plenty of worse places, or more specifically places making fewer efforts to improve. It divides countries into four categories:

TIER 1 Countries whose governments fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards.

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

TIER 2 WATCH LIST Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards AND:

a) The absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; b) There is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or c) The determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the 
next year.

TIER 3 Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.

Israel is in Tier 2, along with Kosovo, Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Pakistan, Jordan and several others. This is the eighth consecutive year that Israel has been in Tier 2 (in 2006 it dipped onto the Tier 2 Watch List) . The country report on Israel is on page 200 and makes interesting reading.

At least Israel is trying to improve. Still, it's worth remembering that Israel is down there with Pakistan and Egypt next time a right-wing nutjob tries to kid on that slavery and sex trafficking exist today purely a result of Islamic wickedness. Yes, Joseph's brothers could still arrange to sell him into slavery in Egypt, but the Egyptians could sell him right back if the price was right.

Though if they had done that, we would have been deprived of this:

(And until I read the comments on Youtube I'd never noticed that - in the film at least - the verse Pharaoh repeats isn't the one Joseph asks for!)


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