NB, Michael & Kevin: CIA’s worrying data on PNG
09 February 2010
The CIA’s official brief on PNG, from its World Factbook (link to it here), offers some reasons why she may have wanted to put this matter on the agenda, which I canvass below.
In doing so, I muse whether anyone in DFAT thought of raising these shocking facts at last year’s South Pacific Forum.
With the next Forum to be held in
So to the World Factbook, which points to a number of debilitating problems plaguing PNG.
The CIA says that PNG relies on
As PNG Attitude has revealed recently, the cross Torres Strait traffic
The CIA’s analysis is that PNG is
a country of destination for women and children from
The CIA says PNG is not making significant efforts to comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Further, that its legal framework does not effectively deal with trafficking, that it lacks victim protection services, that it has no systematic procedure to identify victims of trafficking and that (in 2007 anyway) the government did not prosecute anyone for trafficking. PNG has also not ratified the 2000 UN trafficking protocol.
The CIA indicates PNG as a major consumer of cannabis.
Note to Kevin and Michael: You’ve got to do much better on this.
After reading Paul Oates' comments, I checked up on the source to verify the information. I want to assure PNG Attitude readers that the Information in the World Factbook and the CIA data might sound worrying but is totally inaccurate.
This is a typical standard impression-based on scantily-researched data similar for a lot of developing countries that the CIA routinely stereotypes to justify its reports to superiors in Washington.
The CIA is way off the mark here and it is not correct in what it says about PNG. First of all, PNG does not directly rely on assistance from Australia to keep out illegal cross-border activities from (mainly) Indonesia, including smuggling, narcotics trafficking, squatters and secessionists.
However, in view of its limited monitoring, surveillance and enforcement resources, PNG tries its best to address some of these transnational security concerns in recent years.
There is border crossing all year round but they are mainly by people living along the PNG/West Papua (Indonesia) border, and are related so they are traditional crossers.
While there may be (no accurate reports in recent times), some narcotics trafficking in small degrees, but since the Bougainville crisis days, there are no other events of secessionist movements in the country in recent times.
The problem is not only for Australia. The PNG government must also take direct responsibility to police its own waters between its Western province and Torres Strait to deter illegal cross bordering traffic.
PNG and Australia need to have a joint surveillance program all year round to address a common border security challenge. Failure here is not an option for both countries it has the potential to become a big problem in future.
As far as people trafficking is concerned, the CIA’s general analysis is wrong about PNG being a country destination for women and children from Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and China, trafficked mainly for commercial sexual exploitation but also for involuntary domestic servitude. This is not what is happening and the assessment unfortunately does no credit to future CIA credibility.
On the other hand, I agree that PNG is not making significant efforts to comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government presently has no legal framework to effectively deal with trafficking.
State agencies lack victim protection services, no systematic procedure to identify victims of trafficking. Relevant agencies have for several reasons not done their job well to convict border violators caught trafficking, or in other illegal activities. More so, in as far as Illicit drugs are concerned, the analysis here is wrong to say that PNG is a major consumer of cannabis, because it is not.
PNG must do better in future to now ratify trafficking including other UN protocols it is a signatory to.
Posted by: Reginald Renagi | 12 February 2010 at 09:51 AM