Embassy Law Web Log   
Washington, DC, USA      

Enslavement by Diplomats

Accusations of enslavement of domestic workers by diplomats form the basis of a petition filed November 15, 2007 with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, DC. Allegations of abusive treatment of visa dependents in the homes of diplomatic personnel are not unique to the United States but the new action takes the issue to a new level at the intersection of human rights treaties and the Vienna conventions on the privileges and immunities of diplomats as well as the protection afforded them through the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, together with Global Rights and the Immigration/Human Rights Clinic of the University of North Carolina School of Law, the petitioners complain in their 136-page submission of complicity by the United States in their enslavement by defeating judicial redress of the rights of victims employed in the United States.

By upholding one set of treaties to protect diplomats at embassies, consulates and international organizations, the United States is said to violate its human rights obligations under other treaties. -- Clemens Kochinke, Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, LLP, Washington.