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Tens of thousands of men and women from poor countries across the world are allegedly forced into working for U.S. government subcontractors, often performing gruelling tasks at military bases overseas.U.S. government contractors have promised nearly 70,000 men and women enviable work abroad and unimaginable salaries only to confine them to windowless warehouses, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union and Yale Law School.
The workers are forbidden from travelling home, and sometimes even forced to work without pay, according to the report, which was released late last month.
While the report focused mostly on labour trafficking, it also revealed shocking allegations of sex trafficking and violence against women.
U.S. contractors abroad have been involved in sex scandals since at least the 1990s.
At that time, employees of DynCorp International Inc., a Virginia-based contractor in Bosnia, were accused of buying girls as young as 12 and using them as as sex slaves, according to the report.
The contractors were never prosecuted.
The report quoted a news story written by New Yorker reporter Sarah Stillman that profiles Lydia, a woman from Fiji.
“A supervisor had ‘had his way with’ Lydia…non-consensual sex had become a regular feature of Lydia’s life…the man would taunt Lydia, calling her a ‘fucking bitch,’ and describing various acts he would like to see her perform,” Stillman wrote, according to the ACLU’s report.
Stillman reportedly tried to report Lydia’s case to the U.S. Army’s emergency sexual-assault hotline but never received an answer.
For even more harrowing details of the lives third-country nationals are forced to lead, check out Shreeya Sinha’s story over at The New York Times.
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