Bob Fertik / Walk Free & Democrats.com – 2012-07-20 11:22:56
Please tell your Senators to pass the bipartisan End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act and stop taxpayer-funded modern slavery
(July 4, 2012) — In Iraq and Afghanistan, private contractors working for the US government pocketed billions of dollars while filling jobs with slave labor. Almost 70,000 people have signed the petition calling on the US Senate to pass the End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act — can you take a moment to add your name?
US contractors have made billions from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But now, several are being investigated for slave labor.
According to evidence before the US Congress, government contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan pocketed billions while filling jobs for government contracts with slave labor1.
Vinnie Tuivaga, a hairdresser from Fiji2, was one of their victims. Vinnie was recruited for a hair-cutting job in a luxury hotel in Dubai â€“ but instead she was sent to a war zone. She was forced to live in a shipping container and paid only a fraction of what she was promised. And although she was not in chains, she was held against her will, unable to leave without her passport. This is modern slavery.
But right now, we have an opportunity to stop this! The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act (S. 2234), a bill that would stop US-sponsored slavery, is still pending in Congress3. Almost 70,000 people have already signed Walk Freeâ€™s petition to get it passed — can you take a moment to add your name?
US contractors have made billions of dollars supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But over the last eight years many of them, including KBR (formerly part of Halliburton), have reportedly filled outsourced jobs with slave labor to fatten their wallets.
People like Vinnie were recruited with the promise of good-paying jobs, only to end up victims of slavery, deceived and exploited by unaccountable subcontractors. Yet even as reports exposed stories like Vinnieâ€™s and others living in modern slavery4, the US government continued giving contracts worth billions to the same companies whoâ€™d been repeatedly accused of deceiving and exploiting hundreds of thousands of people.
The Pentagon has turned a blind eye to its contractorsâ€™ practice of modern slavery. But together, we can end it. The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act (S. 2234) would take important measures to hold contractors accountable if their subcontractors traffic workers into slavery by creating real consequences5.
This is our chance to help Vinnie and thousands of others and win an important victory over modern slavery.
Thank you for your support,
Tim, Lauren, Josh, Debra, Galit, Martine and the rest of the team
1. â€œMore DoD Investigations of Allegations of US Contractor-Fueled Human Traffickingâ€
2. â€œThe Invisible Armyâ€
3. â€œCommittee acts to stop contractors from enabling human traffickingâ€
4. â€œKBR, Partner in Iraq Contract Sued in Human Trafficking Caseâ€
5. GOP, Dems come together to fight human trafficking by contractors in Iraq, Afghanistan