EDITORIAL: Do more than just raid clubs
LAST WEEKEND personnel from the Royal Barbados Police Force and the Immigration Department executed an operation at what has been described as an “adult nightclub” on Spring Garden Highway and reportedly took 44 people into custody.
According to police public relations officer Acting Assistant Superintendent David Welch, 29 foreign nationals were detained when the operation was carried out at Club Master Entertainment on Spring Garden Highway. It appears the women were primarily from CARICOM member states.
Our understanding is that a number of these women have been deported or are slated for deportation, since they were allegedly found to be engaging in conduct not covered by the scope of the entry permit stamped in their passports when they arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport, supposedly for quiet holidays.
The world over, adult clubs are known for providing certain services for clients and generally the scope of those services vary according to the tolerance of the jurisdiction, the extent to which law enforcement officials are prepared to turn a blind eye or the letter and spirit of laws that might make such clubs legal.
In Barbados, it would appear that these clubs are able to “market” themselves as adult largely because the society tolerates them in the periods that intervene between the occasional police/immigration raids. Persons who keep their ears to the ground, however, know that these clubs are also a source of significant revenue for a not insignificant number of young women who offer a variety of services to both male and female clients.
This ought to be a matter of concern for authorities here if for no other reason than that those who choose to offer services in these establishments are getting younger and younger, while becoming less inclined to hide the source of their income. Again, this can only be because the society no longer frowns on the behaviour as it did a decade or two ago.
We are also concerned with the apparent ease with which non-nationals appear to be able to enter the island and almost immediately offer their services at these places of adult entertainment. We have to date seen no evidence to suggest that the Immigration Department has started issuing work permits to CARICOM national who possess the skills employed or deployed in these businesses.
Under the circumstances, therefore, it might be in the public interest for the leadership of the Immigration Department or the Ministry of Home Affairs to explain to the country whether the provisions of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which governs the operations of CARICOM, are in need of adjustment in order to assist in curtailing this “movement of labour” that ought to be stamped out.
It might also be of benefit for there to be some discussion on whether the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice in the case brought against the Government of Barbados by Jamaican Shanique Myrie has compounded the problem. And while we are at it, we should state that it cannot hurt for the relevant authorities to tell us if there is any truth to the regular refrain that there is “official” assistance or collusion in the apparent ease with which these foreign adult club operatives clear the Grantley Adams International Airport.
We must act sensibly since adult entertainment and trafficking in women are known to be closely related.