Clamping Down on Trafficking of Women

Since the Government Accountability Office identified weaknesses in the A3 and G5 visa system in 2008, the U.S. government has taken steps to strengthen the program. Consular personnel are required to screen diplomats more closely prior to issuing visas to household staff.

When diplomats’ domestic workers apply for A3 and G5, U.S. consular personnel must interview them away from their employers, ensure they have a copy of their employment contract and alert applicants of rights and protections in the U.S. All applicants are provided with a pamphlet outlining their rights and a number to call to report abuse.

“It may not be a perfect process yet, but the State Department is making an active effort to remind officers of the requirement,” says the GAO’s Assistant Director in International Affairs and Trade Cheryl Goodman.

See also “No Way Out: Foreign Diplomat Defrauds Housekeeper” and “Diplomatic Impunity: Trafficking Women to Embassies in the U.S.