NewsUSA: US LAND OF MODERN SLAVE TRADE.

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Subject: NewsUSA: US LAND OF MODERN SLAVE TRADE.
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 12:18:00 EDT


4-4-00 USA: US LAND OF MODERN SLAVE TRADE.
By CHRISTINE JACKMAN.
THE US is being swamped by a modern-day slave trade, with up to 50,000
women and children lured to the country every year under false pretences, a
CIA report has found.
The 79-page report, International Trafficking in Women to the United
States, detailed how human smuggling rings in Asia, Latin America, Africa
and Eastern Europe tricked unsuspecting women into immigrating to the US
with promises of work as waitresses, sales clerks or secretaries.
But once the women arrived, they found no such jobs existed.
Instead, they were taken prisoner, held under guard and forced into
prostitution or cheap labour.
The report, leaked to the New York Times, referred to Thai women "forced to
be virtual sex slaves" and Chinese-Korean women "held as indentured
servants".
Mexican women and girls were promised jobs in housekeeping and child care
but, upon arrival, "told they must work as postitutes in brothels serving
immigrant workers".
The child slave trade usually operated differently, with children often
sold, rather than lured, into servitude.
The CIA tracked girls as young as nine years old who were sold to
traffickers by their parents "for less than the price of a toaster", then
smuggled to the US where they worked "in an indentured sexual servitude
arrangement".
In other cases, parents did not sell their children but fell for scams in
which they were convinced to pay up to $A20,000 to send their children
alone to New York, where they were told they would enjoy "better
educational opportunities".
Instead, the children were forced to work as domestics.
Attorney-General Janet Reno established a task force into the US-targeted
slave trade two years ago, declaring: "We are not interested in containing
modern-day slavery; we want to eradicate it."
But the CIA report said nothing had changed because the smuggling rings
were expensive to track and investigate.
2000 Davies Brothers Limited.
MERCURY (HOBART) 04/04/2000 P17


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