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Saturday, January 11, 2014

US Solon Broadens Pilipina Case to Fight Human Trafficking

The sad plight of a Pilipina labor trafficking victim was highlighted in the United States Congress last Friday as a call was made for US lawmakers to help fight modern day slavery. According to a Pilipina caretaker, she was so excited to go to the US that she didn't even ask her recruiter any questions related to her work. But when she arrived in the US in 2005, her recruiter confiscated her passport and charged her $12,000 for plane fare and US Visa which she could pay by working in a retirement house for 10 yrs. Guazon was forced to work 18 Hrs. a day at an elderly center somewhere in suburban Los Angeles. She said she was made to sleep on the floor in the hallway. She only broke free when the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) rescued her in 2008 after a neighbor noticed that she never had day off. Guanzon spoke out about what happened to her to the FBI and eventually testified in criminal court against her trafficker who got a 5 yr. prison sentence. In his remarks on the House floor Rep. Royce noted that human trafficking is not just a problem over there in faraway countries with developing economies. The legislation combats the growing problem of international human trafficking by requiring overseas labor recruiters to provide detailed employment information to overseas workers, to avoid the bait and switch into slave labor or sexual slavery once they enter the US and creating additional penalties and enforcement mechanisms. Some 10 million Pilipinos work abroad and a number of them are abused and subjected to slave like conditions working in factories, agricultural plantations and domestic workers across the globe according to humantrafficking.org     
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