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At least Congress agrees on something – stop aiding and abetting government contractors’ that profit from slavery
Portman, Blumenthal Secure Inclusion of Anti-Human Trafficking Legislation in Defense Bill
Office of Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) – Washington, D.C.- Novemeber 30, 2012 – Yesterday, Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) secured inclusion of the End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act (S.2234) in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (S.3254). Earlier this month, Portman and Blumenthal launched the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking. The caucus will bring Senators together to combat human trafficking by promoting awareness, removing demand, supporting prosecution efforts, and providing appropriate service systems for survivors.
Despite the U.S. government’s zero tolerance human trafficking policy, investigations have found that human trafficking by government contractors and subcontractors who operate overseas is still an issue. For example, in 2011, the Commission on Wartime Contracting – an independent, bipartisan legislative commission established to study wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan – concluded that “[e]xisting prohibitions on such trafficking have failed to suppress it.” The commission also concluded that “evidence of the recurrent problem of trafficking in persons by labor brokers or subcontractors of contingency contractors.”
More than 70,000 third-country nationals work for contractors and subcontractors of the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pete Kasperowicz – (The Hill) – March 27, 2012 – A bipartisan group of members from the House and Senate proposed legislation on Monday that seeks to crack down on human trafficking by contractors that the U.S. military hires for work in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act is a reaction to reports from the Commission on Wartime Contracting and the inspectors general of the Defense and State departments that overseas contractors are known to engage in practices that are illegal under U.S. employee rights standards. These include seizing workers’ passports to trap them at a work site, lying about compensation, engaging in sexual abuse and generally keeping workers in a state of indentured servitude.
(To watch the entire hearing click HERE)
Charles S. Clark – (GovExec) – September 22, 2011 – Harry Truman “would be shocked,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., told a Senate panel Wednesday during the final hearing on the expiring Wartime Contracting Commission that was modeled on World War II anti-corruption investigations led by the 33rd president.
Nearly one-third of the $206 billion that the United States has spent on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan could have been wasted, the commission reported in August, and senators fear the same mistakes will be repeated in future war zones.
“We must know why we are contracting, who we contract with, and what we are paying for a particular service or function,” McCaskill said. “It is just shameful that, despite the great work of the commission and the community of auditors and inspectors general who have reviewed these contracts, that we don’t know — and may not ever know — those simple things about the contracts awarded in Iraq and Afghanistan.”