UN or other global body's protection?
December 5, 2008 at 6:26 pm #4421
From the above article:
“There are a lot of great things about moving here: it’s a very beautiful place, you have great weather, the sea. And for the men (typically the ones working), it can be fantastic, with no commuting like in London but for the women it can be a big shock. Here they are in a strange, expensive place, on a small island and often immigration laws mean they cannot work.”
It is interesting to me to see that expat couples going to Bermuda have similar issues to ones moving to Anguilla. Things are good for the guy but the woman does not have it so good. My commute is a 1 minute stress-free walk to the top of our hill.
– VinceDecember 5, 2008 at 7:52 pm #4422
Misleading, that quote. We have a large number of people here from overseas, as there just aren’t enough Bermudians to fill all of the jobs available. What “Anna Smith, who moved to the island with her reinsurance executive husband and their children” is alluding to is that it can be difficult for an unqualified foreigner to get a work permit on this island. Basically, the law here states that if you have a Bermudian and a foreigner who apply for the same job, with the same level of experience and qualifications, you must give first preference to the Bermudian. You also have to advertise locally for a few days by law before you can say that no Bermudian wants or is qualified for the job. Many times a husband lands a well-paying job on the island, but the wife doesn’t find something available that they would really want. It can easily go the other way if the wife lands a good job here and they decide to move together, but the husband finds it more competitive than he expected to land something in his desired field. I hope people don’t get the impression that we are in any way sexist in Bermuda. We have had powerful women in politics for many, many years, including female heads of state, and it is the same with women in all levels of the private sector. I have had more female bosses than male bosses in my years here, both foreign and local. The US is much closer to us physically than the Caribbean, but we naturally have some of that flavour being a small tropical island. Mostly we tend to have American tastes & values socially, with a way of life influenced by our British roots & legal system.December 5, 2008 at 11:53 pm #4423
I did not mean to imply that Bermuda was sexist or unique in this problem. In my experience the computer programmers that have come to Anguilla were all men. They could get work permits but it was hard for their girlfriends/wives. I have assumed this problem was the same on other islands and that article just bolsters my belief.
Lightning strikes men 4 times more than women. Does that make lightning sexist?
– VinceDecember 24, 2008 at 11:45 pm #4563
I have been to a few of the islands, but I have got to get to Anguilla one of these days, just to experience an island paradise tinier than Bermuda
I thought of something else that would be a good altruistic export for a seastead, that being education. Many countries would have universities, but these may be limited, and I’d imagine that a seastead could have quite a few brains on board that would be a wealth of knowledge for people who may want that sort of exposure. Perhaps even some sort of accreditation as an educational institution, that would be a step closer for the young people of these places than higher education by internet, with visits to the mainland to administer exams, etc.December 30, 2008 at 5:41 pm #4604
There are many island nations that struggle with a great deal of the same things seasteads would. If successful seasteads became a reality, we could have a multitude of “foreigners” wanting to see how we do things to figure out if they can import the technology and procedures to their homelands. Openning up an exchange of ideas and personnel would make it harder, I think, for larger nations to view our enterprise as a threat. Just a thought.January 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm #4625January 12, 2009 at 12:07 am #4675
Protection from the UN’s thieves, thugs, rapists and murderers? Ask the Rwandans, the Sudanese from Darfur, and all the others the UN has ‘protected’.
I’d rather take my chances playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded revolver, thanks.January 30, 2009 at 1:16 am #4766
This is a complex and difficult topic. I am meeting with some experts on international maritime law in February, and I am attending a conference on Sovereignty in the UK in April. I should know a lot more about how to proceed trying to establish ourselves as sovereign in the international community after those events.
Many things will go into it – public perception, govt perception, how big our guns are, how big our economy is, how useful we are to the rest of the world, how well we make our legal case, etc. This situation is going to take decades to play out, so it’s a massive, long-term project that we’re just getting started on. Look for more information later this year on the blog – we may run some contests for law students to write journal articles on how to establish sovereignty, for example.March 12, 2009 at 2:35 am #5160
I hadn’t thought about using seasteads that way. Imagine how much misery could have been avoided if there had been some (well armed) seasteads off the coast of Viet Nam when people were trying to leave by boat. Rather than attempting to make it all the way to another country’s shore, people would only have to make it across 12 miles.
The Vietnamese Navy patrols further out than that, up to 75 to 100 miles, due to pirates. Pirates may have entered the mainstream conciousness only recently when Western cruise ships were threatened, but pirates have always been operating, particularly in the South China Sea. If “criminals” were boading seasteads or other vessels of opportunity 15 miles off shore….and the Vietnamese gov’t didn’t want to let the “criminals” leave in the first place….they could, would, and have in the past sunk the vessels and killed every person.
Vietnam’s definition of “criminal” includes anyone trying to leave their country without proper authorization. Failing to obey a lawful order of the military or police in this country (and many, many others) is sufficient grounds for deadly force. This is not in any way putting down the nation of Vietnam, it is a statement of fact based on several visits. It is consistent with the laws in many nations.
Once you are branded a “criminal”, then those helping you are “criminals”. In this case, the vessels could be then terms “smugglers” or “traffikers in humans”. It has happened before (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/jul2004/anam-j22.shtml). It is now up the the accused to prove they are innocent and no money, sex, possessions, or promises for future work were traded for passage — the US is one of the few nations that assume “guilty until proven innocent.” More to the point — many nations tend to operate on “sink the smugglers to send a message”.
There is a reason the Red Cross/Red Crescent needs to have military support to bring aid to those who need it most, and a big part of that reason is to the aid workers can not only get into an area, but also leave. If you want to intervene in a political situation, it requires planning and resources to ensure the people intervening have a reasonable chance of success.
Bart Kemper, P.E.
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