Marshall Island Human Sex Trafficking Ship Stopped By Iran?

Screen shot 2015-04-28 at 1.32.48 PM of the CIA world factbook on the Marshall Islands

Screen shot 2015-04-28 at 1.32.48 PM of the CIA world factbook on the Marshall Islands. Click image to enlarge.

There is really nothing in the Marshall Islands to ship away. They are tiny islands with less than 100,000 people scattered across them. Iran has stopped a boat from the Marshall Islands within Iranian water and the USA is sending troops to stop them. Why?

According to the CIA, the Marshall Islands are “a source and destination country for Marshallese women and girls and women from East Asia subjected to sex trafficking; Marshallese and foreign women are reportedly forced into prostitution in businesses frequented by crew members of fishing and transshipping vessels; some Chinese women are recruited to the Marshall Islands with promises of legitimate work and are subsequently forced into prostitution.”

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren states Even though the Strait of Hormuz is in Iranian territorial waters, “innocent passage” is applied — ships are authorized to pass through the body of water assuming they abide by all the rules of the sea — because it is an internationally recognized shipping lane.

After World War II, many do not know, the Marshall Islands came under the control of the United States as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

In 1986, under a Compact of Free Association, the Marshall Islands essentially became an American colony, where the native people still receive compensation claims as a result of US nuclear testing on some of the islands between 1947 and 1962. The Marshall Islands hosts the US Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) Reagan Missile Test Site, a key installation in the US missile defense network.

What are the Marshall Islands?

US assistance and lease payments for the use of Kwajalein Atoll as a US military base are the economy mainstay of this small island country. The Marshall Islands received roughly $1 billion in aid from the US during 1986-2001 under the original Compact of Free Association (Compact). In 2002 and 2003, the US and the Marshall Islands renegotiated the Compact’s financial package for a 20-year period, from 2004 to 2024. Under the amended Compact, the Marshall Islands will receive roughly $1.5 billion in direct US assistance. Agricultural production, primarily subsistence, is concentrated on small farms; the most important commercial crops are coconuts and breadfruit. Industry is limited to handicrafts, tuna processing, and copra. Tourism holds some potential. The islands and atolls have few natural resources, and imports exceed exports. Under the amended Compact, the US is also funding, jointly with the Marshall Islands, a Trust Fund for the people of the Marshall Islands that will provide an income stream beyond 2024 when direct Compact aid is to end.

TheGuardian.com published the following on the 60 year anniversary of the United States of America’s first nuclear attack on humans.

Bikini Atoll nuclear test: 60 years later and islands still unliveable

Marshall Islanders unable or unwilling to return to traditional home, scene of huge US hydrogen bomb test in 1954

The Marshall Islands are marking 60 years since the devastating US hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, with exiled islanders saying they are too fearful to ever go back because of nuclear contamination.

Part of the intense cold war nuclear arms race, the 15-megatonne Bravo test on 1 March 1954 was a thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It exposed thousands in the surrounding area to radioactive fallout.

Remember, less than 100,000 people live on the marshall islands and many are US military.

US nuclear experiments in the Marshall Islands ended in 1958 after 67 tests. But a United Nations report in 2012 said the effects were long-lasting. Special rapporteur Calin Georgescu, in a report to the UN human rights council, said “near-irreversible environmental contamination” had led to the loss of livelihoods and many people continued to experience “indefinite displacement”.

The report called for the US to provide extra compensation to settle claims by nuclear-affected Marshall islanders and end a “legacy of distrust”.

It is not just their homes that have been lost, said Lani Kramer, 42, a councilwoman in Bikini’s local government, but an entire swathe of the islands’ culture. “As a result of being displaced we’ve lost our cultural heritage – our traditional customs and skills, which for thousands of years were passed down from generation to generation,” she said.

“After they were exposed like that I can never trust what the US tells us [about Bikini],” said Kramer, adding that she wants justice for the generations forced to leave.

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