News/US: CIA Finds Foreign Women in Bondage in U.S. - Paper

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Subject: News/US: CIA Finds Foreign Women in Bondage in U.S. - Paper
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 11:23:30 EDT


            CIA Finds Foreign Women in Bondage in U.S. - Paper

RTos 4/2/00 5:54 AM

\ Reuters Ltd.

     NEW YORK (Reuters) - The CIA has found that as many as 50,000 women and
children a year are tricked into coming to the United States and forced to
work as prostitutes, sweatshop laborers or servants, The New York Times
reported on Saturday.
      The report on the abuse of Asians, Latin Americans and Eastern
Europeans is not classified but has not been made public, the Times said on
its Web site and in Sunday editions.
      It said a government intelligence analyst working on assignment for
the CIA had prepared the report and another official, who wanted the
findings made public, had given the newspaper a copy.
      The exhaustively researched 79-page document, titled "International
Trafficking in Women to the United States: A Contemporary Manifestation of
Slavery," painted "a broad picture of this hidden trade and the
difficulties that government agencies face in fighting it," the Times said.
      The report, based on more than 150 interviews with government
officials, law enforcement officers, victims, and experts in the United
States and overseas, was completed in November.
      It found that in the past two years, as many as 100,000 women and
children, some as young as 9, had come to the United States and been held
in bondage.
      The Times said federal officials estimated that over the same period,
the government had prosecuted cases involving only about 250 victims.
Victims' inability to speak English and their fear of law enforcement
officers sometimes made it hard to ascertain the facts, the CIA found.
      The Times said the report described many cases in which foreign women
answered advertisements for jobs as au pairs, sales clerks, secretaries or
waitresses in the United States, only to find, once they were smuggled into
the country, that the jobs did not exist.
      Instead, the women were held prisoner and forced into prostitution or
peonage. Some were sold outright to brothel owners.
      The primary sources for the traffic in women and children were
Thailand, Vietnam, China, Mexico, Russia and the Czech Republic, the report
found. The newspaper quoted government officials as saying that the problem
seemed to have worsened in recent years as traffickers from Russia and the
former Soviet Union aggressively entered the business.


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