'Baghdad Embassy Investigated for Labor Trafficking and Abuse
By David Phinney, IraqSlogger.
New evidence reveals previously unreported instances of appalling living conditions, abuse and coerced labor in the building of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Editor's note: Rumors of labor trafficking and abuse have plagued the building contractor now completing the $592 million Baghdad embassy building project, but a State Department inspector general investigation reported finding nothing untoward. Now David Phinney reveals previously unreported instances of appalling living conditions, abuse and coerced labor, making clear that the allegations against the contractor managing the embassy project remain unresolved.
In the months following September 2005, complaints began coming in to the U.S. State Department that all was not well with its most ambitious project ever: a sprawling new embassy project on the banks of the ancient Tigris River. The largest, most heavily fortified embassy in the world with over 20 buildings, it spans 104 acres-- comparable in size to the Vatican.
Soon after the State Department awarded a $592 million building contract to First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting in July 2005, thousands of low-paid migrant workers recruited from South Asia, the Philippines and other nations poured into Baghdad, beginning work to build the gargantuan complex within two years time. But sources involved in the embassy project tell Slogger that during First Kuwaiti’s rush to the finish the project by this summer on schedule, American managers and specialists involved with the project began protesting about the living and working conditions of lower-paid workers sequestered and largely unseen behind security walls bordering the embassy project inside the U.S.-controlled Green Zone.'
Lees verder: Interactive renderings of the U.S. Embassy by architect Berger Devine Yaeger