News: Nanny agency busted Cops say women were treated like 'slaves'

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Melanie Orhant (
Wed, 23 Dec 1998 14:23:22 -0500

Nanny agency busted
Cops say women were treated like 'slaves'
By JEREMY LOOME, Staff Writer
Edmonton Sun, December 23, 1998

Foreign nannies were treated like "indentured slaves" by a Red Deer couple
now facing 26 immigration-related charges, RCMP said yesterday.

Joe and Lydia Federico, along with their agency Global Care, are accused of
bringing nine women to Canada from the Philippines on the promise of
employment that didn't exist.

They then forced them to work illegally to pay Global Care for their
immigration and accommodations once in Red Deer, police said.

"They sold the farm to get to Canada and were put to work illegally to pay
off their debt," said Const. Jim Efford.

The charges were laid under the Immigration Act after an investigation
prompted by complaints from one of the nine. The other eight later told
similar stories, said Efford.

They allege Global Care charged an $850 placement fee and $150 a month to
stay in the Federico home.

"They came to Canada in good faith and ended up being treated in this way,"
said Efford. "Eventually, some of them wised up."

It's the same firm that helped Irma resident Sonia Bandol - the heroic
nanny who saved three small children from a fire Dec. 5 - emigrate from her
native Philippines. She said yesterday she had no problem with the agency.

Federico said he and his wife treat new arrivals like family. He plans to
continue business throughout their legal battle, with their first
appearance in a Red Deer court Feb. 10.

"I'm not afraid of anything and I will be there to fight this. Our clients
support us and have been calling us to tell us so."

Federico has brought women over from Hong Kong and the Philippines since
1994 under Citizenship and Immigration Canada's Live-In Caregiver Program.
It stipulates nannies must work for a prearranged sponsor employer. Not one
nanny ever complained about the process, Federico said.

He admitted to charging the $150 but said he would expect any adult to pay
rent if they were staying in his home.

Federico's clients say they're puzzled. Sherwood Park's Dr. Dorothea Jones
hired a Global nanny three weeks ago.

"Not only did they find me an excellent nanny but they also went to great
lengths to make sure that both I and the nanny would be happy with the
arrangement," she said. "Lydia even drove up here from Red Deer to
interview me to make sure that (the nanny) would be happy living here."

Jones's nanny, Venelyn Oliva, noted the Federicos keep in touch and invite
the nannies to visit. "They were very good to us," she said. "They helped
me with my papers and they visited my employer. They call to make sure I'm
doing OK."

It's the same story at the Sherwood Park home of Aileen Dalene. She says
her nanny, Helen, is "like family" now.

"It took me 15 months to get (her first) nanny (through another agency) and
I wasn't happy. This took three to four weeks," she said. They "made sure
we were both happy with the arrangement first."

Melanie Orhant

Human Trafficking Program
Global Survival Network

P.O. Box 73214
Washington, DC 20009
T: 387-0028
F: 387-2590

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