Rollins vocal during HOA’s Trafficking in Persons Debate

Making his contribution for a Bill for an Act to amend the trafficking of persons prevention and suppression act, Member of Parliament for Fort Charlotte, Andre Rollins expressed that while human trafficking is an extremely serous issue, one that not only plagues The Bahamas, but the world at large. 

“I note that the Member for Fort Hill, has indicated that this is a very important piece of legislation intended to demonstrate the government’s pro action in dealing with a very serious problem, affecting, not only our country, but the entire world and that is the very dark business of human trafficking. 

Despite the contentious back-and-forth debate between himself and Member of Parliament for Fox Hill, Fred Mitchell, Rollins claimed that two sets of rules exist in the country. 

“The reality is that we have two sets of rules in our country; one for those who have power and one for those who do not. Mr. Speaker, we on the opposition side, we are powerless. We are powerless to have a say in the governance of this country. We come to this House and we are supposed to be peers, equals. The reality is Mr. Speaker, while those in opposition to us claim that we are weak, we cannot be strong if our voices are silenced. 

“We have Mr. Speaker, legislation that deals with people whose power, whose independence, is snatched away from them, people who do not have the benefit of law enforcement to protect them. Many times these people are brought into this country on false pretenses, made to believe that they will engage in work which, when they arrive they find does not exist. 

“We said that we were about a new generation, forging a new generation of political leaders, and I have found Mr. Speaker that absolutely, does not exist. We, in this country are playing politics the same way, in 2017, that was played in 1967 and prior in the days of the United Bahamian Party (UBP). In those days they gave people flour, they gave people food in the can, because you know, that could keep us pacified. How terrible it is when we do not know the power that we possess. Woe be unto he who fails to understand his responsibility, not to a political party, but to this country, so that history will duly record that he was on the right side,” said Rollins. 

The MP for Fort Charlotte further stated that there are many persons in The Bahamas now that are no better off than those in 1967 and before, referring to them as economic slaves. 

“We talk about being trapped; the way persons who are trafficked are trapped, enslaved by those who make money off of their servitude. But Bahamians in New Providence must have been feeling trapped these last near two weeks, in their homes, with the smoke as oppressive as it has been.”

He noted that the Honourable House is, and should be the place in which the concerns of the Bahamian people should be voiced and brought to a resolution. 

In conclusion Rollins stated, “It is not about politics Mr. Speaker, me being in here has never been about politics, that is why I have no regrets about anything that I have done in here, because to try and say that I am prepared to do anything, to survive politically, would make me a prostitute, and I am not prepared to do anything to stay in this place. Unlike some inside here who will sit down and do whatever their side asks them to do, so that they can continue to say that they are an MP.

“We have to get out of that; this country deserves better.” 

 

Published Thursday, March, 16, 2017

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