Human Traffic Watch

Human Trafficking in the US Extended to Guest Teaching Program

In Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on January 7, 2013 at 11:39 am

It is not the common case of human trafficking in the US when federal guestworkers are financially exploited. Earlier this month, Nunag Tanedo v. East Baton Rouge Parish School Board was concluded with a $4.5 million fine in favor of 350 Filipino guestworking teachers who were essentially extorted in order to work. The case was based on violations of sections in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).

The decision was made by the US District Court, Central District of California in Los Angeles. The 350 recruited teachers were the plaintiffs and Universal Placement International was the defendant.

Teachers from the Philippines obtained H-1B work visas through a U.S. federal guestwork program in 2007. Their placement was administered by Universal Placement International (UPI) of Los Angeles. Teachers who were involved in the class action lawsuit were lured into a series of fees to teach in Louisiana.

Recruited teachers paid $16,000 into the placement program, much of which was covered by private lenders referred by UPI. Additional fees followed when teachers were obligated to pay 10 percent of their second-year salary with the threat of being sent back to the Philippines. None of the fees paid by the teachers were to be refunded if they were sent back.

Source: IVN

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