2 Jan 2006

Palau to be considered as safe haven for girls rescued from prostitution in Cambodia

4:40 pm on 2 January 2006

The humanitarian group, United States International Mission, is now considering Palau as a safe haven for a group of Vietnamese girls forced into prostitution.

The group had originally wanted to place the girls, who were rescued in Cambodia, in the Northern Marianas, but that idea has been withdrawn due to the strong opposition of the local community.

A field member of the USIM, Dai Nguyen, said their group will look into alternative areas that have strong ties with the U.S. such as Palau.

Last Friday, the Deputy Attorney General in the Northern Marianas, Clyde Lemons Jr., issued a statement announcing the withdrawal of the proposed safe haven entry permit regulation.

Mr Lemons told the Marianas Variety newspaper that the the decision was based on the large number of comments from those opposed to the plan.

Scores of local residents and officials expressed opposition to the proposal, citing its possible adverse economic, social and political impact on the CNMI.