Speaker 1: [Spanish 00:00:15]
Speaker 2: Good afternoon to everyone. Speaker 1: Today we are calling on the United
States Government and the Organization of American States to end the exploitation and
abuse of domestic workers employed by diplomats. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:00:31]
Speaker 1: Every year, approximately 3,000 migrant domestic workers come into the United
States to work for diplomats. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:00:50]
Speaker 1: They come on special visas that the United States Government gives to the
employees of diplomats. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:01:04]
Speaker 1: They come with the promise of good jobs.
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:01:13] Speaker 1: They come with the promise that
U.S. Laws will protect them. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:01:21]
Speaker 1: They arrive to find that their so-called rights are unenforceable,
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:01:31] Speaker 1: … because the United States Government
gives diplomatic immunity even for the way diplomats treat their domestic workers.
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:01:47] Speaker 1: The United States Government gives
diplomats the license to abuse their domestic workers.
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:02:05] Speaker 1: We have seen how the United States
Government continues to ignore their plight. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:02:20]
Speaker 1: In a couple of weeks, we, together with 6 petitioners, 6 domestic workers, from
Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Zimbabwe …
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:02:38] Speaker 1: … we’re going to file a petition
before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States.
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:02:54] Speaker 1: This petition calls on the U.S.
Government to live up to its obligations under the American Declaration on the Rights of
Man, Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:03:12]
Speaker 1: … because no class of workers can suffer human rights abuse in this country
with impunity. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:03:28]
Speaker 1: One of the women, the courageous women, that’s filing this petition I want
to tell you about. Her name is [Razia Begam 00:03:42].
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:03:44] Speaker 1: [Razia 00:03:52] worked for a Bangladeshi
diplomat to the United Nations. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:03:55]
Speaker 1: For two full years, [Razia 00:04:05] was kept as a prisoner in the home of this
Bangladeshi diplomat. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:04:09]
Speaker 1: She was never allowed to go outside the apartment.
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:04:20] Speaker 1: Her passport was confiscated.
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:04:26] Speaker 1: She worked around the clock without
a day of rest for $29 a month. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:04:33]
Speaker 1: When guests came to the apartment, her employers locked her in the kitchen so
that she could not be seen. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:04:45]
Speaker 1: Her employers tried to take from her humanity and her dignity.
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:05:01] Speaker 1: What do we say to that?
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:05:09] Speaker 1: [Razia 00:05:14] found the courage
to escape and to sneak out. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:05:18]
Speaker 1: In our petition, we say to the United States Government, that international
law requires it to protect domestic workers and prevent these ongoing human rights abuses.
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:05:34] Speaker 1: Congress today has an opportunity
to come into compliance with this obligation under international law.
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:05:53] Speaker 1: In the next month, Congress must
enact legislation to protect domestic workers and provide them compensation and the reauthorization
of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:06:11]
Speaker 1: Domestic workers must no longer be forced to leave their rights at the doorstep
of diplomat’s homes. Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:06:28]
Speaker 1: Today, we say to the United States government, enough is enough.
Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:06:41]