Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bahamas named in report on human trafficking

The Nassau Guardian recently reported that the U.S. State Department has included the Bahamas as a "special case" in its annual report on human trafficking for the second year in a row. Amongst other things . . .
The report gives special attention to the Haitian community in The Bahamas, thought to be vulnerable to exploitation because of the illegal status of many migrants.

"Some Haitian immigrants may be subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude," according to the US Embassy in Nassau. "Although these migrants arrive voluntarily in The Bahamas to work as domestic servants, gardeners, and in construction, local sources indicate that labor exploitation of these workers may be widespread; employers coerce them to work long hours for no pay or below the minimum wage by withholding documents or threatening arrest and deportation."

Ermitte St. Jacques, a Haitian-Bahamian who is pursuing a PhD in the United States, interviewed more than two dozen Haitians residing in The Bahamas as part of a masters thesis she did in 1998 and said she found frequent reports of this kind of exploitation.

"Sometimes they would work, but when they were supposed to be paid the employer would say they were not going to be paid and they would call the authorities," St. Jacques said in a phone interview yesterday.

Ermitte said the nature of migrants' work, often as casual workers in construction and housekeeping, mean that they don't have much recourse on the job, either, if they are being overworked or underpaid.
Click here to read the rest of the article.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home