- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2007 at 2:22 PM
With private security firm Blackwater USA under fire for its role in a recent shooting incident in Baghdad, new details are emerging about another problem involving contractors in Iraq: the working and living conditions of international laborers employed on U.S. government projects.
DOD failed to stop exploitation
BY Sebastian Sprenger
Published on Sept. 21, 2007
According to internal Defense Department documents, contractors working for the military in Iraq exploited international laborers in 2006, despite updated DOD regulations prohibiting such practices.
Early this year, Air Force Maj. Gen. Daryl Scott, who oversees all contracting activities for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, wrote to senior DOD leaders that problems involving contractors’ treatment of international workers, which the military found in 2006, were ongoing.
Officials at the Joint Contracting Command-Iraq/Afghanistan, which Scott leads, found evidence in March 2006 that contractors and subcontractors working for the U.S. government had confiscated laborers’ passports, used deceptive hiring practices, funneled workers into Iraq by circumventing local immigration procedures and housed workers in substandard conditions.
Many of those practices fall into an area legal scholars call trafficking in persons.
Officials at Multi-National Force-Iraq did not respond to requests for comments.
Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) held a recent hearing on the State Department’s use of third-national workers to construct the embassy in Iraq. Tierney said there are serious allegations of abuses by contractor First Kuwaiti that included many of the same issues DOD is facing.
These “troubling allegations have come to the subcommittee’s attention that this proposed beacon of freedom was built, quite literally, on the backs of workers from Nepal, the Philippines, Pakistan, India and Ghana, just to name a few,” Tierney said. “We have heard of workers living a dozen, two dozen, or even more, in a single trailer measuring 40 feet by 10 feet. And we have heard of workers unable to return home, whether because their passports were withheld or because of threats or because they faced a year’s salary penalty if they resigned.”
In April 2006, then-MNF-I Commander Army Gen. George Casey signed an order directing the return of passports to all international laborers, called third-country nationals, employed by contractors of the U.S. government. The order, stamped for official use only, also mandated contract language that would set the minimum living space at 50 square feet per worker and would bar contractors from using recruiting firms to bring workers into the country via illegal recruiting fees.
Scott, in his Feb. 15 memo, summarized the findings of a December 2006 report by the inspector general of MNF-I.
“Unfortunately, the IG found that many third-country nationals are paying excessive recruitment fees, and almost half of [them] still have not been provided the mandated 50 square feet of living space,” Scott wrote in a memo addressed to senior procurement officials in the services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
In the memo, Scott asked officials in Washington to help ensure that the contract language and clauses of the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement that prohibit such practices be applied to all contracts performed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Trafficking-in-persons “violations are serious offenses,” Scott wrote. “MNF-I and my command take a zero-tolerance approach to any violation. Thank you for assisting us to ensure [that] all contractors performing in Iraq and Afghanistan comply.”
Despite the issue’s severity, DOD’s senior procurement official was unaware of the memo. In an Aug. 27 FCW interview with DOD procurement chief Shay Assad, one of the intended recipients of Scott’s memo, Assad said he had never seen it. “It’s addressed to me, but I haven’t seen it,” he said after a reporter showed him the document.
In an e-mail statement relayed by a DOD spokesman a few days later, Assad said that although he had not seen the memo, members of his staff had received it and forwarded it to the military departments for action.
Scott wrote a second memo Feb. 15 that was addressed to all contractors working with his command. He raised the issues that were found during the December 2006 inspection of working conditions of contractors’ laborers.
It is not clear whether DOD officials have terminated contracts based on trafficking-in-persons policy violations. Assad said he was unaware of any cases.
Report this post as:
Change Links 2018 July posted
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
More Local News...
Un monde de pauvreté
14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head
Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy
Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies
Paraphysique de l'intelligence
Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record
Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals.
Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries
The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally!
The System Question as a Survival Question
Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control
Du pain et des jeux
Paraphysique de martyrologie
Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator
Democratic Socialists of America
Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's
Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento
FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution?
Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians
The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally!
Social Policy as Social Infrastructure
Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud
Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner..
June 2018 Honduras coup update
Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support
New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients
Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation
Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why
More Breaking News...