Photographing Human Trafficking in New York

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Iris, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Iris

    Iris Superhero Member Admin

    Dec 4, 2013
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    "They look no different than anyone else in the rat-race blur of New York├óÔé¼Ôäós streets. They hold the same jobs ├óÔé¼ÔÇØ maids, nannies, janitors ├óÔé¼ÔÇØ as thousands of others who get paid for their work, sometimes well, usually enough to get by.

    But the service workers Xyza Bacani has trained her camera on are worse off than even day laborers. Lured or coerced into leaving their countries for jobs in New York, they become trapped, forced to work off their travel expenses and room and board, stripped of their documents, denied time off, isolated by language barriers, paid a pittance or nothing at all, even beaten.

    They are effectively indentured servants. Yes, here and now, in the land of the free.

    No one knows how many people are suffering this modern-day slavery in the United States. But guest worker programs that bring migrants to this country on special visas have been fraught with abuse, the Southern Poverty Law Center has found, and survivors of labor trafficking are not hard to find."


    Originally from the Philippines, Cherry Ann Montehermoso converted to Islam after marrying her husband, Shipu. June 29, 2015. Credit Xyza Bacani

    Ms. Bacani came to New York for the first time in May after winning a 2015 Magnum Foundation Human Rights Fellowship to New York University for her photos of abused Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong.
    Several members of the so-called Florida 15 enjoying a barbecue in the backyard of their shared home.Credit Xyza Bacani

    Her affinity for immigrant domestic workers comes from her experience working as a maid in Hong Kong for nine years, and her mother├óÔé¼Ôäós experience with the same household for 20 years.Originally, she planned to photograph undocumented Filipino workers. But as she dug deeper, Ms. Bacani said,

    Read full story + 15 photos gallery here

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