Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Slave Labor at the UN?

For all the high minded nonsense that spews forth from the so called UN Human Rights Commission about conditions in the US, perhaps they need to turn inward and investigate the UN. Seems the UN has been looking the other way when they or member states use what amounts to slave labor. This past Tuesday the New York Sun, published an article, about the Ambassador from the Philippines enslaving some one.

In the report, The Sun claims that Marichu Baoanan, a Filipino immigrant, had filed a lawsuit against the former Philippine U.N. ambassador Lauro Baja who served at the world body from 2003-2006.

According to the Sun, Baoanan claims that she was held as a de-facto slave during a three-month period in 2006 when she worked as a "domestic" for the Baja family in New York City.

In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Baoanan claimed that her employment amounted to "involuntary servitude, forced labor, debt bondage, slavery, and psychological abuse," when she worked at the ambassador's residence on the Upper East Side.

New York City officials say such complaints are not surprising.

A key member of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's staff (who wished to remain anonymous) explained that diplomatic immunity may protect the Baja family. While diplomatic immunity normally covers only those engaged in official activities, it can cover others related to but not directly involved in such activities.

"It all depends on what kind of visa she entered the U.S. with," the source explained. It also depends on what kind of visa the Philippine government requested.

In other words, if Baoanan entered the U.S. on a diplomatic visa, there is little U.S. courts can do to help her. "The State Department is always reluctant to get involved in such situations because of the fear of retaliation against U.S. personnel serving in the country at issue," the source told Newsmax.

Back in the 1990's, the Chinese imported their own labor to construct their UN consulate in NY. They paid these workers 1.00 an hour. Mayor Rudy Giuliani took them to court and put an end to that.

It seems Giuliani convinced the court that the Chinese construction site was not occupied by diplomats and as such, did not yet enjoy diplomatic status. The site was part of a real estate swap with a local developer who had yet to turn the title over to Beijing.

Today, China's U.N. mission staff is among the lowest paid of the so-called "Perm 5" (the United States, France, Russia, Britain, and China — the five veto-wielding nations in the U.N.) yet China’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya enjoys the life of a modern emperor as presides over one of the largest apartments in Donald Trump's World Tower overlooking U.N. headquarters.

At China's consulate on the West Side, more than 300 staffers from the mainland run one of Beijing's largest operations overseas under little pay and questionable working conditions, but officials can do little about it.

Smaller nations, such as North Korea, literally shield their staff from outside contact preferring to move in supervised groups around Manhattan and living in communal apartments.

It is not known if their staff receive any pay at all.

All in all, it looks like there needs to be some internal investigating going on over at that cesspool of corruption, called the UN. - Sailor

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