by David Phinney
Sunday October 25th 2020

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Law Violated, But Pentagon Offers No Names on Contractor Human Trafficking

From: DAVID PHINNEY [mailto:david.phinney@verizon.net]
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 12:41 AM
To: Mace Brian A LtCol MNF-I Deputy IG
Subject:
Brian,
I am a reporter for CorpWatch and contributor to BBC. As you may recall, I began researching labor conditions and allegations of trafficking last July. I was then told the issues I raised were under investigation. (SEE BELOW)
I need background on the new FRAG order for trafficking in persons MNF-1 FRAGO 06-188. (FILE ATTACHED)
It states that an inspection of contracting activities supporting DOD in Iraq revealed evidence of illegal confiscation of worker passports, deceptive hiring practices and excessive recruiting fees. Additionally, it found substandard worker living conditions at some sites and circumvention of Iraqi immigration procedures.
What contractors were found to be involved in these activities, under what contracts and what, if any, corrective and punitive measure were taken against these companies?
Additionally, where can I get a report on the findings of the mentioned inspection?
Thanks,
DAVID PHINNEY
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Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Mr. Phinney,
SGT Anderson is now working a different shift. I searched our database and found his original response to you (pasted below).
TSgt. Diamond
CPIC Press Desk
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Mr. Phinney,
This is all we will say about the trafficking incident.
During an inspection by the MNF-I Inspector General (IG) that was completed in late March, evidence indicated a wide spread practice of holding and withholding employee passports to prevent employees “jumping” to other employers. It is the position of Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) that this practice violates the law under Title 18 U.S. Code.
The rights to freedom of movement and quality living standards are serious issues; MNF-I takes a zero tolerance approach to any violation and incorporates contract language that prohibits contractors and subcontractors at all tiers from utilizing unlicensed recruiting firms, or firms that charge illegal recruiting fees, and includes appropriate penalties for non-compliance.
All Department of Defense military and civilian personnel and Department of Defense contractors must receive the mandatory Trafficking in Persons (TIP) awareness training prior to deployment or after arrival in the Command. Our leaders understand the dynamics and indicators of trafficking and are vigilant in correcting or reporting suspected violations or activities.
MNF-I employs a three-pronged approach to deter and combat human trafficking by DoD personnel or contractors in Iraq — education and awareness; policy and enforcement; and inspection.
— Education and Awareness. All DoD personnel and DoD contractors must receive mandatory TIP awareness training prior to deployment or after arrival in the Command.
–Policy and Enforcement. All contracts incorporate appropriate language to compel the protection of individual rights (at both contract and subcontract levels); to promote rule of law in Iraq and in the labor recruiting process, and to provide a mechanism to enforce contract compliance.
— Inspection. Leaders must be vigilant in correcting or reporting suspected violations or activities.
Contractors and subcontractors at all tiers are required to comply with international laws regarding transit/exit/entry procedures, and the requirements for work visas, and incorporate contractual provisions for addressing non-compliance. Contractors will follow all host Country entry and exit requirements.
Our contracts will have measurable, enforceable standards for living conditions (e.g., sanitation, health, safety, etc.), and establish 50 feet as the minimum acceptable square footage of personal living space per worker.
MNF-I will incorporate contract language that requires contractors and sub-contractors at all tiers to provide workers with a signed copy of their employment contract that defines the terms of their employment / compensation (e.g., salary, currency, work hours, overtime, vacation, etc.).
Our contracts will have measurable, enforceable standards for living conditions (e.g., sanitation, health, safety, etc.), and establish 50 feet as the minimum acceptable square footage of personal living space per worker. Language should include a provision to allow contracting officers to grant a waiver in cases where the existing square footage is within 20% of the minimum and the overall conditions are determined to be acceptable.
We have directed contractors and subcontractors at all tiers to return worker passports in compliance with reference (b) no later than 01 May 2006, and incorporate specific contract language to restrict the duration of time that travel documents may be controlled by employers for administrative processing, to preserve the intent of Title 18 USC.
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
If this e-mail is marked FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY it may be exempt from mandatory disclosure under FOIA. DoD 5400.7R, “DoD Freedom of Information Act Program”, DoD Directive 5230.9, “Clearance of DoD Information for Public Release”, and DoD Instruction 5230.29, “Security and Policy Review of DoD Information for Public Release” apply.

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