[Reader-list] Indian Guest Workers, Katrina, UN

Naeem Mohaiemen naeem.mohaiemen at gmail.com
Tue Apr 8 05:57:01 IST 2008

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice
Alliance of Guestworkers for Dignity

Furious at Rejection From Their Own Government, Indian Guest Workers Turn To UN

Workers Will Meet With UN High Commissioner To Highlight Role of US and India
in Trafficking Guest Workers; Will Release Statement Demanding Action from
Indian Government

New York, New York -- Indian guest workers who broke a major human trafficking
chain and launched a political firestorm in India will meet with the Office
of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at 1 pm on Tuesday,
April 8.  Workers will highlight the role of the Indian and US
governments in allowing
companies and recruiters to use the US guest worker program as a
legally sanctioned
vehicle for modern-day slavery.  Workers will also issue an
excoriating statement
demanding action from the Indian government to bring safety and relief to
550 trafficking victims and their families.

The workers triggered a criminal trafficking investigation by the Department
of Justice against their former employer, Signal International, and the US
and Indian recruiters who brought them to the US on false promises of
permanent residency and green cards.  Workers slammed the company and
recruiters with a federal class action lawsuit, and walked on foot to
Washington - in the tradition of Gandhi - to unmask the US guest worker
program and force the Indian and US governments to take action on their
behalf.  In Washington, workers spoke at Congressional briefings and
addressed US elected officials.

After a high-level meeting with the Indian ambassador yielded only symbols,
not solutions, workers then sought out the United Nations as an ally.

Where: Church Center, 777 United Nations Plaza, 10th Floor, New York City

When:  2:30 pm, Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Who:     Indian workers trafficked to the post-Katrina Gulf Coast
who are members of the Alliance of Guest Workers for Dignity and their

#  #  #


April 7, 2008

Saket Soni

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