23 Mar 2006

Northern Marianas decline safe haven proposal for Vietnamese children

3:38 pm on 23 March 2006

The Northern Marianas Legislature has decided against a plan to set up a so-called safe haven for some foreign children.

The Saipan Tribune reports that the House of Representatives has followed the senate's lead in opposing the plan to amend laws and regulations to allow for the safe haven programme.

The United States International Mission Saipan wants to rescue Vietnamese children who were sold to prostitution in Cambodia and bring them to the Marianas.

Once in the territory, the Mission says the children would undergo rehabilitation in a safe haven established by the organisation.

However Senator Pete Reyes says the proposal, while well-intentioned, is unworkable in that it fails to account for many uncertainties.

Senator Reyes says one of the many problems is that children would be allowed to enter the territory without a recognised passport.