US Defense Contractor Held Responsible For Sex Trafficking in Bosnia
Two DynCorp employees won recent legal victories after the defense-contracting firm fired them for reporting co-workers involved in sex-slave trade in Bosnia. The court actions, which took place in England and Fort Worth, Texas, suggest that the company did not move aggressively enough when reports of sex trafficking emerged in 1999, according to Salon.com.
While at least 13 employees have been sent home from Bosnia - seven of those fired - for purchasing women, many of them underage, or participating in other sex trafficking activities, none have faced criminal charges – despite large amounts of evidence. Employees of DynCorp and other private military companies are able to escape prosecution for crimes committed overseas because of protections granted under international treaties, the unwillingness of law enforcement systems in places such as Bosnia to police US contractors and because their actions fall outside the jurisdiction of US courts.
In England, Kathryn Bolkovac, who was fired after she sent an email to DynCorp and UN officials describing complicity in forced prostitution by international aid workers, was found by a tribunal to have “acted reasonably” while Dyncorp did not, according to Salon.com. “DynCorp is an enormous operation with strong ties to the US government,” Karen Bailey, Bolkovac’s legal representative said in a prepared statement. “She took on the big guns and won. The plight of trafficking victims is appalling and I’m glad that Kathryn’s case has done some way to bringing it to wider attention.” The tribunal ruled that DynCorp violated England’s whistleblower statute when they fired Bolkovac – a hearing is scheduled in October to determine what damages the company will face.
In Forth Worth, DynCorp agreed to settle a lawsuit late last week with Ben Johnson, who was fired after he reported that several fellow DynCorp employees purchased underage women. The case was settled two days before it was set to go to trial - the settlement amount is confidential. “This settlement wouldn’t have happened if DynCorp hadn’t, at least internally, accepted some responsibility for what happened in the Balkans,” Johnston’s Attorney Kevin Glasheen told Salon.com.
9/12/2014 Violence Against Women Act Turns 20 - Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary. . . .
9/12/2014 Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery - An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment.
Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home. . . .