Kansas City Star: Work Visa Program is Rife With Problems
The ease with which the system can be defrauded allows criminals to use U.S. law to turn foreign workers into something very close to slaves, said Mary Bauer, legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“For too long, our country has benefited from the labor provided by guest workers but has failed to provide a fair system that respects their human rights and upholds the most basic values of our democracy,” Bauer said.
Project Exodus: Nail Salons Front for Human Trafficking in Ohio
Kevin L. Miller, executive director of the Ohio Board of Cosmetology, said he expects “indictments and arrests” statewide in the next 60 days or so. State and local law-enforcement agencies, the FBI, Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are investigating, he said.
CNN: On The Trail of Forced Labor in Bangladesh
Srimongol, Bangladesh — My (Harvard human trafficking fellow Siddharth Kara) research trip to Bangladesh ended near the town of Srimongol, where I investigated the country’s tea industry. Much like their shrimp processing kinsmen to the south, the tea factories were locked down like prisons.
Institute of Southern Studies: In Florida, Slavery Still Haunts the Fields
Our guide, Romeo Ramirez, tells us straight away that the trailer, which already feels uncomfortably small, is a replica of one in southwest Florida where 12 farmworkers were forcibly kept between 2005 and 2007. Locked in at night, they had no place to relieve themselves and were forced to foul a corner of their cramped quarters. When someone fought back, he was beaten and chained to a pole. The chain and padlock, still twisted from when workers finally forced it off, rest on the trailer’s wall.
After two workers pounded a hole in the trailer’s ventilator hatch large enough to squeeze out, they found a ladder and extricated the rest. Their escape began the seventh of eight prosecutions for involuntary servitude among U.S. farmworkers since 1997. (The eighth indictments, involving dozens of Haitian nationals victimized by trafficking, were announced last month, two days after Independence Day.)
Change.org: Why Tourists Shouldn’t Give Money to Children
The Mirror Foundation, an anti-trafficking NGO, claims that tourists giving money to children on the streets fuels child trafficking across the Thai-Cambodian border. Around80% of child beggars in Thailand come from Cambodia, and at least a third of them are being controlled and exploited by an adult. Children trafficked for begging are often forced to work up to twelve hours a day in hot and dangerous conditions. Most children are under 12, with the youngest identified being a 10-day-old infant. Furthermore, children used as beggars when they are very young are sometimes forced into prostitution or manual labor once they reach puberty.
Child beggars can earn a decent amount of money in a day, but they turn over all their earnings to an adult at the end of it. That’s one of the reasons trafficking children for begging is so lucrative. Plus, it can be much more difficult to identify a trafficking victim among a swarm of street children than in a brothel or a factory.
The Guardian: How Domestic Workers Become Slaves
“Migrant domestic workers are in a uniquely vulnerable position. Thousands of miles from home, “they are dependent on one employer for their accommodation, work and immigration status,” says Moss, “and because they are isolated in a private house they don’t meet anyone.” They often come from impoverished backgrounds with little education, and are encouraged to fear the police. “Many can’t leave because they are told the police will put them in jail or rape them.”
NYTimes: Immigrant Maids Flee Lives of Abuse in Kuwait →
With nowhere else to go, dozens of Nepalese maids who fled from their employers now sleep on the floor in the lobby of their embassy here, next to the visitors’ chairs… Continue reading