Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-30-98

Foreign Workers in U.S. Face Forced Prostitution, Forced Abortion

Foreign workers on a U.S. island territory are suffering from women’s rights and human rights abuses, according to a report by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Undercover agents interviewed more than 400 workers in the U.S. territory, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), made up of islands between Hawaii and the Philippines.

Workers from foreign countries are lured to the CNMI with promises of high paying jobs on U.S. land to work as “foreign guest workers.” The close to 37,000 registered workers, are frequently brought into the territory by “recruitment scams.” They pay thousands of dollars to attain jobs that pay less than they were promised or do not exist. U.S. human rights advocates and officials have said that the system benefits foreign garment manufacturers, brothel owners and other employers.

The report included accounts of rampant trafficking of minors from the Philippines and China for forced prostitution, and of the importation of more than 100 Russian women for work in brothels.

Several foreign women garment workers stated that their employers ordered them to have abortions or face losing their jobs. Investigators concluded that garment manufacturers force abortions because they do not want to be liable for the extra cost of lost productivity during pregnancy and childbirth.

Despite his strong anti-abortion views, House Majority Whip Tom Delay (R-Tex.) has continued to express his support for the garment industry’s importation of foreign workers. According to a Washington Post article, Delay praised the “system” as one of the “leading lights of free market success,” and “said he favors creating a similar guest worker program for Mexicans in the United States, with no minimum wages.”

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), who recently visited the CNMI, is calling on Attorney General Janet Reno to take action against the “foreign guest workers system,” because it “violates federal law by holding deeply indebted workers in various forms of indenture.”

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit, Rep. Miller, and four workers from the island will testify at a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing this Tuesday that will consider a proposal to impose federal immigration and minimum-wage laws in the territory.

Media Resources: Washington Post - March 30, 1998


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order. Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
 
7/27/2015 "After Tiller" Was Nominated For An Emmy - Documentary film After Tiller was nominated for two Emmy Awards: Best Documentary, and Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story. The Point of View (POV) documentary follows the aftermath of the murder of Dr. . . .
 
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents. Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force. "Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices, said Spillar. . . .