US: Indian workers seek UN help

Accusing the Indian government of “abandoning” them to their fate, Indian dock workers from Mississippi have now sought the help of the United Nations against, what they call, modern day slavery. The workers alleged that they were tricked under the H2B guest workers programme on a false promise of giving permanent residency in the US and that now they were being forced to live under inhuman conditions.

The workers met Deputy Director of New York office of High Commissioner for Human Rights Craig G Mokhiber in the US capital. Emerging from the 45-minute meeting, Saket Soni, who led the Indians, said that Mokhiber agreed that their alleged ill treatment amounted to violation of international and humanitarian laws. Mokhiber, however, did not comment as to what transpired during the meeting.

Responding to the allegations, Signal International, where these workers were employed said that it had fired the recruiter after it learnt of its misconduct. But it denied workers’ charges that they were being treated as slaves by calling the allegations as “baseless and unfounded”.

Though their fate remains uncertain, the workers, who met Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen in March after a 1,500-kilometer march from New Orleans and demanded a CBI probe, said that they would not leave the country without getting justice for themselves and others placed in the same condition.

They, however, expressed their anguish at the “apathy shown by the Indian government”. “We spent three hours relating our tales to the Indian Ambassador and other embassy officials in Washington to be told ultimately that they could act only within the protocol,” a worker said. He also asserted that the Indian workers in question only wanted two governments to work together to find a solution. (Based on PTI Reports)

1 Response to “US: Indian workers seek UN help”

  1. 1 len April 11, 2008 at 12:08 am

    they should have stayed in their own country and have their country take care of them,not come here and cause problems with our governtment

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