Are Government Contractors Exploiting Workers Overseas? Examining Enforcement of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First Session, November 2, 2011 [open pdf - 5MB]
From the opening statement of James Lankford: "At the height of our overseas contingency operations, we had hundreds of thousands of military personnel stationed overseas. While we have our differences of opinion on the current strategy or the way forward, we must remember there are tens of thousands of American men and women stationed abroad, and regardless of whether there are tens or hundreds or thousands of troops abroad, the support personnel required to ensure these military and diplomatic operations are effective continue to remain. Within the confusing maze of contractors and subcontractors who support our operations, there appear to be less than reputable foreign companies that engage labor brokers who apparently are accountable to no one. They exploit unskilled workers from impoverished backgrounds. We are told that these workers are taken advantage of in their unconscionably low wages, in their work expectations, and in their living conditions. The purpose of this hearing is to stop, ask the questions that will confirm or deny these accusations. These foreign workers are known as third country nationals. […] They provide what the military calls base support operations or they are used by embassies throughout the Middle East to perform the menial labor necessary to support embassy operations. According to various accounts, some of these workers have been robbed of wages, injured without compensation, subjected to sexual assault, or held in deplorable living resembling indentured servitude by their subcontractor bosses. […] These unsavory labor practices are collectively called trafficking in persons. It is prohibited by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, which establishes minimum standards for eliminating trafficking in persons around the world. In fact, the United States has numerous laws, policies, and contractor regulations already on the books to prevent human trafficking. The purpose of this hearing is to explore whether the United States, through its unprecedented use of contractors in war zones and contingency environments, has become an enabler of human trafficking or if we have knowingly turned a blind eye to trafficking." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: James Lankford, Evelyn R. Klemstine, Kenneth P. Moorefield, Linda Dixon, Michael P. Howard, Liana Wyler, David Isenberg, Sam W. McCahon, Nick Schwellenbach, and Elijah E. Cummings.
Serial No. 112-93
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