DynCorp And Human Trafficking
DynCorp International is a private military contractor in the USA, which started as an aviation-based company that offered support for flight operations, mentoring, training, contingency operations, international development, support and training for intelligence and maintenance, and operations of all land vehicles (Dealbook, 2010). Out of the $3 billion annual revenues earned by Dyncorp, 96% result from the existing contracts with the Federal Government of the USA (Corrin, 2011).
Dyncorp has served the US government in several theatres, including Bosnia, Bolivia, Columbia, Angola, Somalia, Kosovo, Haiti, and Kuwait. Besides being a major ally of the federal government towards aiding in military activities, DynCorp is also known for relevance to cases related to human trafficking. May it be the case of recruiting individuals through offering falsified details of employment (Schulberg, 2014), finally ending them up in war zones, paying them a lot lesser than actually promised, trafficking children to lead a life of slavery (Globalist Corporations, 2012); or facilitating sex trafficking (Watson & Jones, 2006).
The essay here explores the ways through which military contractors such as DynCorp facilitate human trafficking by studying in detail the various cases that have been highlighted by individuals who have been linked with the organization and have had exposure to the ways that led to the world knowing about them.
Dyncorp and Human Trafficking
Women S.X Trafficking
According to Rarick (2010, p67), “Throughout history women has been treated as spoils of war, and any place where military occupation has existed in sexual assault, and rape has been a common feature ……… thus sexual abuse of women has always been considered as an inevitable feature of war.” This feature exists even today. Instead, the employment of Private Military Contractors (PMC here within) has worsened the problem. The lack of an adequate and efficient PMC involvement prosecution in human trafficking further adds to the problem. One incident of such a Military Contractor Company violating the rules related to human trafficking is Dyncorp.
Being considered among the top 25 service providers in the US, besides several other scandals related to the company, including double travel expense reimbursement, fuel overcharging, defrauding the USA, etc., one serious violation of the most egregious nature is being involved in the human sex trafficking industry. Specific evidence of this was received from two former employees of the company who raised their voices against doing the same by DynCorp in Bosnia in the latter years of the 1990s (Aitoro, 2012). Dyncorp was found to be involved in several different sex-related crimes, including the trafficking of girls as young as 12 years of age, besides even running prostitution rackets. While some reports suggest that Dyncorp was involved in prostitution only, others emphasized that members of Dyncorp were actively involved in the trafficking of girls and women for prostitution (Rarick, 2010).
Two former employees of Dyncorp, Ben Johnston, who worked as an aircraft mechanic, and Kathryn Bolkovac, who was a UN IPTF (United Nations International Police Task Force) monitor, came clean and explained how their co-workers were involved directly with human sex trafficking. Johnston explained how his co-workers were actively involved in the prostitution and trafficking of young girls aged 12 to 15 in Kosovo, against which he protested and refused to stay silent, for which he was fired by Dyncorp (O’Meara, 2002). He witnessed buying and selling of women done by supervisors and co-workers for personal enjoyment. There were also bragging about the ages and talents held by their purchased women slaves. The CID took Johnston under custody before being deported back to the US (O’Meara, 2002).
Bolkovac is yet another employee that decided to speak about the wrongdoings of DynCorp in Bosnia, where young girls and women were actively being used as prostitutes and further used for other misdoings (Diu, 2012). After her revelation, she was demoted and ultimately fired from her job, and forced to flee from the country. As an answer to these acts, DynCorp took no related actions except firing both individuals. The most horrifying of all things was that none of the involved individuals ever got fired or executed for their misdeeds in this regard.
Child trafficking is another serious case that was taken up against Dyncorp in Afghanistan in 2009. The incident occurred when Dyncorp employees used a 17-year-old “Bacha Baazi” performer for entertainment. Bacheh Baazi is an act indicative of child slavery and, for the Dyncorp employees, child sex slavery (Simm, 2013). DynCorp reacted by firing four employees who were found to be involved in the act; however, neither did the company face any criminal charges as a result (Rarick, 2010).
Human Trafficking (Labor)
Besides the hideous reports of DynCorp being involved in sex trafficking and even child trafficking, other human trafficking-related reports also reveal misleading labor from third-world countries, luring them into a trap from which they seldom ever return to a normal life.
DynCorp and Fluor, another military contractor, were awarded a combined $16.8 billion contract termed the LOGCAP (Logistics Civil Augmentation Program). From the preparation of food to laundry to military base construction, all of it will be done by the two companies in Afghanistan. These companies rely again on another company, Ecolog, to fulfill employee requirements (Schulberg, 2014). This company hires employees from Dubai, where this labor reaches after paying recruiters for a job out of their country. Although the US government signifies that no recruitment will be done or hired by the contractors against any recruitment fee, and even Dyncorp signifies that it does not charge any recruitment fee, how Ecolog acquires them is not a matter of concern (Schulberg, 2014).
There have been several cases where poor workers from different South Asian countries paid a one-time fee to get a job overseas, which pays them higher than they could earn in their own country. This one-time fee is often due to acquiring large loans and spending life savings on a chance to a better life. However, what was neglected at this point was that recruitment fees often led to indentured servitude by the individuals. The repayments of the taken loans or the provision that no savings remain back home can easily trap the individuals in their current jobs. Further, fraudulent recruiters often mislead people into falsifying their job location and salary details. Reported cases revealed several people being promised a job in Jordanian hotels, while they ended up in the military bases of the US forces in war zones instead (Schulberg, 2014).
Even though, like always, DynCorp did not comment on such allegations, even though its career website section warns against any such action as being fraudulent, investigators believe the silence may mean something (Simpson, 2005). Why Dyncorp and similar companies fail to hire their employees is another question that always needs to be answered. An investigation revealed that many employees these companies hire to pay a recruitment fee. To explain this, if a subcontractor hires 8,000 workers for these contractors and asks for a $2,500 fee for recruitment, this alone is $20 million worth of black money facilitated by Dyncorp and other such companies. An attorney based in India, Mr. Sam McCahon, explains that this kind of human trafficking is a million-dollar black money kickback, which is being facilitated by these military contractors (Schulberg, 2014).
Conclusion | DynCorp
Private Military Contractors, though, were initially used by the US as a form of reducing their military budget. Though in several instances, they have proved to serve as aids to the US military, non-supervision and lack of proper investigation on the doings of the companies have led to them proving more hazardous than helpful.
Dyncorp’s actions are illegal and inhumane time and again. However, the negligence of the Federal Government of the US (who is the prime hirer of the company) to investigate claims and allegations against the company have strengthened their belief that irrespective of whatever they do. They will not be interrogated. The US government has involved Dyncorp on an extensive level that backing up from their services may not be an option now, and investigating into their conduct would be a disgrace to the US government as well as if the allegations were found to be true it will be a serious blow to the government and its actions itself.
Taking advantage of this cover, Dyncorp and several other military contractors have had their ways, and, like in any other case, lack of proper law and order implementation, the results are always devastating.
Cases related to several types of fraud have been raised against DynCorp, with human trafficking being one of the most serious. However, the lack of action or prosecution against such acts has only worsened the situation instead of countering it. Private Military companies such as Dyncorp, if not tackled rightfully today, will become the leaders of crimes in the future, acting as instigators rather than reconcilers.
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