Au pair is a French term meaning “on par with,” a relationship of equals. Every year, thousands of young people travel to the United States as au pairs to provide child care for American “host families” while experiencing a new culture. But life as an au pair isn’t always easy. Reveal takes a look at the problems that can leave au pairs adrift and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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The kids aren't slowing down to His play on a swing set another Rockets down a hot steel slide. The sun has just reached its peak in a neighborhood part at the end of a peaceful, suburban, cul de sac. Now we all want seems like this kids, it's an essential part of the american dream, but what about the people who care for those kids, nannies babysitters and in this book this day, AU pairs? across the United States. Thousands of young people. Travel from other countries to become AU pairs, is eighteen to twenty six year olds, live with a whole family for one to two years and provide up to forty five hours of child care a week in exchange for Rome Board and a yearly stipend of about ten thousand dollars.
The application process is simple, but it tells two different stories for families. The hook is affordable. Childcare has never been so simple. Now we have Anna and she is one great au pair. She watched the boy so. I could see Chloe score her first goal and Saturday and Liam well, he's I'll throw spaghetti, but with another set of hands. It doesn't say therefore long Anna help maintain the balance in my life while giving my family the chance to experience her culture for young people. The bitch goes like this opportunity to experience America they eagerly Youtube videos on agency websites to attract attention. Potential host families. I'm nineteen yourselves from Colombia full of patients seriously patience as what you children it so grateful, have been followed. Family. I'm really happy
Children is the most important thing for me: under my responsibility, I will do the best, a serious error per citizen. A win win situation. The AU pairs We women, get to travel and experience, cultures in safe settings. The families get live in help with childcare for far less than any man. He would cos It all started back in nineteen. Eighty, six with a hairdresser, the UK I was working in asylum in Yorkshire in leads in Yorkshire, in the north of England and life was fawn but I dont have been interesting to try something different and add in a newspaper. Opened a whole new world for Gale Markland, and it was just a lot. All square ad in the papers Ask him far people that way. Interested in being an au pair in the United States. So I slipped out the advertisement and pay
and rode off asking for more information. Yo became one of the few AU pairs to visit the United States through a pilot programme that was the first time that I travelled internationally and it was quite a big journey. We want the guinea pigs. Relationship of equals before the. U S started the programme. It was a common practice in Europe. When you went to the U S, she ended up with a family in West I went to the U S: she ended up with a family in Westchester New York was she began caring for baby and adjusting to life in America England, most moms use now pays territorial enough pains and you'll have to what state wash them and dry them? And you know it's a fair amount of work. Whereas in the? U S most MA we using in diapers disposable, diapers so exchanging nappies, a lot easier yet so that was
that was something to look forward to wider introduction to the disposable Diaper Gale says Life in the Au Pair programme was uneasy at this cultural aspects to it. And it really is a cultural experience, Thank them both a family and for the AU pair Bob it's it's village, We still have to do your hours you still have to fulfil year. Your ram, your obligations. In other words, she says the host parents saw it as a job. You know really a priori two for them. I think you just I You're, a glorified nanny, seven months in the. U S got homesick and returned to England today, Au Pairs, a similar problems, more long hours, Lou pay cultural misunderstandings, occasionally abusive host families in the sense that they have no want to turn to when troubles crop up
department overseas programme and sets up the guidelines, but they leave almost everything from Hell They charge, families Are they resolve disputes to OPEC agencies and those agencies make most of their money from their clients host families northward? cow. The investigative fund has been investigating the Au Pair programme for two years, she and reveals Fernanda Come arena. Take a look at how programme meant to be a cultural exchange, can be abused. His philander, we wait. That's one teaspoon there's that in cooking ass and live a little things, make a big difference, and then you Robert I'm here the secret ingredients are not make and ground clothes the round sugar or you the lazy Sunday, the clerks Kitchen, the family makes banana bread the nine year old,
when's Alonzo, we get their hands into every ingredient. We need. Another letter their mother ever lets the girls lead the way Father, William peaks over their shoulders, its modern home in a village called deep, only bad tucked in she sighed and Southeast France near the swiss border. The family has lived here for a couple of months after relocating from Arlington Virginia for Williams. Job at the United Nations, the clerks nearly prepare programme. Well, when they lived in Virginia, they needed help with the twins and the girl for babies. They had a full time nanny but they got older ever says they didn't. Full time help around the house and we realise that it might be better to at some point, have an au pair, so that was something that we are considering and we thought wow what thou be per dress. Perfect. That's Andrea, Visa
the clerks knew her because she had state with them. When she was a twenty five year old exchange students studying English, we just are really good time. I was just really fun. You know we were dumb takers seeing ensure places to go in spend a lot of time just talking in the kitchen having coffee, and so we were always around each other together, quite a bed which is We thought would be great if she could come back so called Andrea who was back in Colombia. She asked Andrea. If you wanted to combat to the? U S and be the repair, and they say yes because, like Do we honest? I knew what I wanna buy. Didn't know how to get there. That five years ago. Today, Andrea is thirty. Two with shoulder length, brown, hair, fair, skin and green eyes, Fernanda and I dropped by her apartment in Alexandria, Virginia yeah some very welcome in person who just brims with enthusiasm
she has a serious. I too, she grew up going to a catholic school and her faith is strong, a curiosity about the world. I wish and to learn a second language cos, specially English, because where they re you go, then you will be able to communicate with someone else who was analyses time. We saw I'll always wanted to learn English, as part of the reason, Andrea agreed to come back to be an au pair for the Clarks she didn't know. Anything about how the programme worked, so the Clarks got in touch with AU pair International. One of sixteen agencies that now run au pair programmes in the? U S Lot of agencies use third party overseas recruiters to handle applicants and Pair International, put Andrea in touch with their local recruiter in Bogota and then, I did all the paperwork name We do have a search. We came in like first a so indeed certificates they re cross. They need a certificate that I knew how to sweep the agents
required. A psychological assessment and a pregnancy test at least Two agencies have legal agreements that allow them to terminate any AU pair who becomes pregnant. Prepare International, isn't one of them. The clerks pay apparent, transnational, roughly six thousand dollars, but the local recruiter, so asked Andrea to pay sixteen hundred dollars. That's about three may and colombian vessels. If you have to me a basis months in Colombia. You have a good salary. I told you I hate you. I mean they're asking me for money here to see what for money we are already paying them here: lots of money, whether money there, I didn't know a lot of the purse, pay those fees at the slow but disturbing I certainly did one Andrew to have to worry about five. This The prize is a lot of people. Families like that I assume their picking up the cost of the programme, but that's not the case au pairs and pay anywhere from a few hundred to three thousand dollars and various fees, that's a lie.
I have money for them to have to foot the bill for and if that's the case, they should let the host family know that, because we are already paying a certain amount, Brazil Colombia and Mexico are three of the top five countries sending AU pairs to these states people from D helping countries, often dont, have three thousand dollars, so to borrow the money or scrape together with from family. They assume they'll be able to pay it back with her AU pair earnings. But that means, but they start out there Day in the: U S in debt ever says: she heard about the recruiting fee. She got in touch with fair international to complain, but I also told Andrea that that should be the case and to push and let them know until she did, the agents He ended up reducing the fee and the clerks picked up the tap offer agencies have taught parents that getting rid of recruitment trees would increase
the costs of the programme. Yeah. Let's talk about how much this costs a whole family there's the initial fee topping around eighty five hundred dollars a year. Most provide room and board plus five hundred dollars for AU pairs to take a class they all who pay the AU pair a little less than two hundred dollars a week. They pay the same amount, whether they have won cater for so that adds up to about twenty grand for a family, about half what a nanny in DC area. What costs ever says that It's in cost is why some families use the programme as a substitute for nannies. I think that's a very. Fortune. I very big mistake because there is a huge difference between, I think, an apparent a nanny in your expectations. And and cost rate, I mean a nanny state of two to three times more expensive
but you're. Also getting a different level of work ever says she never expected at much from the opium programme. Andrea worked five where's the day while ever and her husband were at their jobs. May in duties where lame the girls on nineteen months cause I used to help them to do so in an backfires. Get the launch ready, drive them to school. Big Denmark for four played days, give them ass. Now eggs, given him by, would the twins were at school, Andrea, did a little toy around DC, mostly though she studied foreign Let us a foreign language test. This is that pitch to AU pairs they get in education. It's in the vote regulations. They have to earn six academic credits a year without these costs It's some agency say they may not cover an AU pairs return flight home the other part of the pitch. The cultural.
Experience, Andrea, says that worked out pretty well for her when she was, but the clerks when thou for breakfast they were their hands. Good morning, when I used to come from school day made the dinner I used to sit down with them to wash Americans shows they talk to me. How was your day, and there like family there are great family- would spend hours are in the snow and should be out there by yourself making snow man and we all round joiner and make her come in and have hot chocolate. It was great everything Andrea had hoped for she liked it much. She wanted to stay longer than her initial one year contract the clerks could have extended her stay, but the girls were getting older and they didn't need me help right that meant Andrea needed to find a new host family or return to Colombia. Andrea thought that AU, to national the aid, see that brought her to the. U S would help her fine, that family,
but she says: that's not what happens there? Yes, he guessed from me. You need to join carried the calm. Roofer families are looking for other players care. Not. Com is the e harmony of baby sitting Families in child care providers find each other, but it's but an AU pair agency so of Andrea, can with the family through cared a calm. She A family will still need an agreement through Au Pair international or another sponsoring agency. We requested an interview with OPEC International, multiple times over several months to find out what kind of support they offered Andrea, but they never. Responded, Andrea says she posted an add on care dot com, but only heard back from one family. That was only interview they only where I was so afraid. If I don't if I don't get these family is gonna, be hard for me to go and see where families and my we saw my expire, what are you gonna pay? I think about back to them.
Foretold, told Andrea, she was training to become a fire fire. So she'd arrived home late, most nights, the debt worked in law enforcement, another demanding job, Andrea and the family reached a new agreement with Au Pair International. It didn't sound, an ideal situation but Andrea felt this sober. When the sea family, with two children, was for only Shouldn T have a lot of savings. Cos. You spend a lot of money going to school here for the first year, as I now bear and I need a job. I couldn't be BT idling have that time. Andreas experience is not unusual for AU. They come here. Look at the, but can end up being caught in a system where they have very little control when we come back Andrea turns out what life is like with a family who needs it
but more childcare is she signed up for? I was, I got my father. Do share. At the same time, may there's no, ex imbalances that I can tell that are in place rate in two of ours in terms of pay, and may I guess It'S- all upon on the family, and we hope that that's a good host family right. That's next reveal Centre for investigative reporting and p r, exe.
From this interval, the aborting in p r ex this is reveal a mallet au pair program, young people from all over the world for build as a cultural exchange. They get to come to the? U Experience experienced the country in return They take care the whole family children state regulates the programme, but it's one by independent au pair ages. You have to say with one of them. In order to come to the? U S or if you to find a new host family once you're. Here, that's what we pick up the story. Of Andrea Visa. She came the DC area from Colombia immediately, a new family after her first one year, contract ended. But when she went to a second hose family, she started to see how easy, The system can be exploited reveals for
and they come and annoy throat cow of the nonprofit newsroom. The investigative fun continue her story. Here's Fernanda! from the moment, Andrea, moved in with her second host family. She says things didn't go well. Screen everyday because we are with the crisis, was a sham ingenious billions and they were so tat any friend, my family had young girls for six years old mom and dad left home early and worked late and Andrea, es. As that man she started early and worked late is so Fourteen line, I thing was thought your shit we're tonight. He hunts is today's quieter Andrea accounts for our on her fingers. She said at six. Thirty in the morning making breakfast for the girls sheet Take the older one to school and baby sit younger daughter all day long.
Andrea says it often added up to twelve hours a day sixty hours a week, way more than forty five hours allowed by the Au Pair programme. Undressed There is, in addition to taking care of the kids she also cleaned and mobbed It can and vacuumed the entire house idea: training. For these agency or lying back. In Colombia all the chapters. All the chapters were about Keats Nothing was about how to mark a floor, how to vacuum cleaning. The house might not sound like a big deal, but the AU pair rules are pretty clear. And their there to make sure AU pairs aren't taken advantage of all I should be related to the kids, so straightening kids rooms, making their meals. That's ok, because a full time made. That's not ok,
you can get motto worked for the same family as Andrea. We reached her buy Skype. So how can you tell me about your work? What one day of their work like for you, Sir, I will collapse. The goal make some very fast for those Yucas from Japan. Living in China now she said she would also occasionally work fifty to fifty five hours, but she got paid extra. She didn't seem to mind the additional work and is still close to the family of the sea. Is a legal monetary, I've interview, dozens of AU pairs, who say extra chores and extra hours are pretty much a given. They say they feel like they have no choice but to do what the whose family wants, or they might get kicked out of the programme umbrella felt she was being taken advantage of. I was my father Do you share at this in time, but you didn't
what to do so. She called her friend and former host mom ever Clark. Andrews very upbeat, pause. Like super helpful super friendly, she goes above and beyond what you ask her to do, and I can it was. You know it was acting her her mood, Ever didn't think it was fair that Andrea was working extra hours and not getting paid. She encouraged Andrea to ask for money for those extra hours at the rate nannies in the area, made twelve dollars an hour, so Andrea went to the host dad. Could you please baby we have put our for the extra words and then He said no. He said that no, not gonna do dark close we're we're already in providing you. You're men fall in transportation, said that cost money for us, but the families are so. Host to provide room and board as part of the programme
not allowed to ask them to work more than forty five hours a week whether or not we willing to pay undressed the host at finally agreed to six dollars an hour for the extra time, but sooner she got her rays. Things went hell it started when she be went missing? That's what the youngest girl called her, paper stopped animal fancies, tat guy, I want t be mighty, been I say: no, you have to do for cheaper and s. She looked for the toy, but couldn't find it. She says the little Ro went upstairs crying to be controlled by her mom Andrea. She went to bed He says the next day the whole stack sat her down and he's to me. Well, why you being stay, downstairs, folding, clothes and then quiet, didn't, say anything, but it makes me feel bad. Like Campbell
Eve. She didn't say life, I'm sorry about that and as the limit- and I thought I'm done, I'm the one be here in this house any more on their asked. Her uncle coordinator for a new family? She spoke to the host parents they agreed Andrea, should leave by that Friday But Andrea says that when she spoke to the dad he said to me ok. So we talk today, I didn't see and if he doesn't isn't coming from your heart to take care of the girls than you should leave. I say yes, I have to leave and now what I'm going to do, he said. That's not my problem and actually you won't leave these Friday. We want you to leave tomorrow when asked
I found out what happened. She says she called the State Department. I remember that national making that cause, I thought who can I possibly call to get help? There's gotta be some sort of monitoring of this programme, but that we can report them to, or at least get them to look into the situation there is. Posts to be someone monitoring the programme. You have state department, the AU pair agencies you ve, actually these agencies that are telling au that they should come to them with complaints, that's Janey Tron she's an attorney in Arlington Virginia, who pointed out big flaws in the open air programme and a lot of you article, depending on whoever the local councillor is that complaint may or may not be communicated to the right channels to actually address it. The local council, works for the agency's Janey says. Au pairs can face real barriers if they try to report problems from agencies, active why they want labour oversight. I mean it works. Well for them, you know
God host families that they want to encourage to come back international? The agency that sponsored Andrea, wouldn't do a recorded interval for the story. Neither would any of the fifteen other agencies, but the State Department which regulates the programme, For the? U S, government did agree to talk to US the assistant secretary carry lorry says if they hear of a problem, will do something about it. If a sponsor is not holding a whole family accountable, then that's where we will action with that sponsor. I dont know what action that is lower wouldn't tell us fighting privacy issues. She did say that government plans to make changes since it completed a year, long review of the programme and twenty fifteen. But what are they so now. I love to address that, but I can't because it's part of the federal regulation process that is currently in draft
Meanwhile, The clock was taking for Andrea, who needed to find a new family. Au Pair leaves the family early shares about two weeks to rematch, though the amount of time is really up to the Au Pair agency. It doesn't matter if it's the families fault or the AU pairs. If the au doesn't find anyone, she will lose her J won T some. That's the variety for people and Cultural exchange programmes, joy. Was attached to our visa d j when we send that day when we summon me attached to their family and family may be attached to the job. So, I feel I mean you have freedom. Jamie says this is part of the reason. Au pairs are afraid to complain. Even there being forced to do work they're not supposed to do. She thinks the state Department should consider blacklisting families who violate the terms of the agreement to prevent exploitation. But she doesn't
not much hope that will happen, and so I think, there's a sunset. You know a few bad apples her as what they might characterises. Only a few bad apples shouldn't poison the programme, but that doesn't change. The fact that you can still of those bad up and nothing be done about at or nothing would be done about it in practice if we were to create situations where there's blacklisting of bad families that would significantly narrow the pool of potential clients for these agencies, for instance, and so there's no incentive to do that. We carry Lowry of the State Department about that idea. Perhaps I we just that are our role in this lorries: has overall AU pairs, are happy with the programme since two thousand eleven. They ve only got on two hundred and thirty. Seven complaints, including at least forty seven from this year agencies, support, other incidents to state, but the debate.
Won't, share details or numbers about those. She says more to the problems come when the AU pairs and host families aren't on the same page. You know its expectations before Someone comes on the Au Pair Programme, along with the expectations a whole family and then it Secondly, once an AU pairs with the host family, if there's any miscommunication or misunderstanding about the program that were able to address that, obviously us and also the? U S, sponsor genius the biggest difference and expectations has to do with the programme itself. Au pair, see it as a way to learn English experienced the U S and make some cash families just see it as cheap childcare. This sense Domestic work is at work to do with our general discomfort with this notion that providing care for some one shouldn't territories as work. You want that relationship to be an
national bond, not an employment relationship. This is they were programme. This is employment relationship between those family and the AU pair as much as they want to frame it as a cultural exchange. Undress first Toaster mom ever says that for AU pairs, its role of the ice man, there's no checks and balances that I can tell that are in place. Rape in turn of ours in terms of pay. I may I guess it's. All upon family and we hope that that's a good host family right for Andrea through an open. Your friend she was well to re match with a new family for the rest of the year. Take care of a seven year old boy and had time to study between her work hours, one Our experience ended on a positive note felt, but no one was looking out for her best interests when she needed help most. We found that this They department doesn't even keep a record of families who violate programme rules that,
families are free to continue churning through AU pairs, potentially violating the rules and taking advantage of the young people in the programme. Again and again, as a good side and by side as other countries have sometimes things may sands and others done for them. A programme that many things that don't make sense to me and night understand. Why did they apparently of labour dose and good eighties programme is like a double face? after leaving the opium programme. Andrea got a student visa graduating from business school she's, not working Company and learning payroll invoices and estimates Andrea, it is a self lucky to know the clerks and other free who helped her along the way without a support system. Things for open
can turn much worse. I didn't know have to release arrive in the country. I didn't know how to work here. What to do have two for jobs. We do now one only of an AU pair in a limb, a situation where they feel like they don't know what their rights are, how we will take care of them. That's coming up next upon ravine, from the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal a mallet,
as we heard with AU pairs, leave a whole family in search of a new one. Things can get complicated, this support system. Sometimes breaks down where circumstances vacuum dangerous situations. That's what happened to Daniel now what I using her real name, because we don't disclose the identities of abuse. Victims. Warning, though this make story contains, accounts Physical and sexual abuse tears bruises on my body being beaten for no reason just because he is in a bad mood. This is not life. If it is, it is only the life of a slave. Am I really such a bad person that I deserve this kind of life and treatment I can no longer live being scared all the time. That's an excerpt from
Daniel S diary read by an actress Daniel. It did talk to us, but she says it's too painful talk about the trauma she suffered. So throughout the story you'll hear an actress. Reading from her diary, Northrop Cow of the investigative fun picks up the story in Chica I arrive in a neighbourhood with green flowery front yards to story, homes and quiet street Daniela is standing in her driveway wearing a bright, yellow, dress that flows to her ankles. He's holding her arms around her belly, she's eight months pregnant this home as a world away from her small village in the ukrainian countryside. And whom we have. Usually. If you live in the cup like in the village, you have a pretty big piece of land, but each house like the biggest peace. Bp there's the committee cucumbers, sir peppers, eggplant. Basically Nathan,
Daniele left home when she was twenty two years old. She was funding for her masters degree in English and french linguistics in Ukraine when she noticed this poster in the hallway, with a huge, Mistaken image of the Eiffel Tower something about them your programme, which I have never heard about before and there is a number say- just called daniel- spoke to a local recruiter for enter exchange. That's a new pair the saying they match or with the whole family right outside Paris. She graduated she took off for France, it was her first outside Ukraine we're just going to the poor Playing around going to do poor land. All I basically havin fun said, hard at all. She worked for fun We, who had three kids everything one great after her year was up Daniel. Returned home she went back to to exchange and applied to be an apparently you ass to improve English, and they would
only this matter- which partly wanna go to their religion, at all costs. That's the? U S and the same country. No way to go about it. That's a huge country like active was the difference. Daniela didn't know Fargo from Fort Lauderdale, but what she? did know was that she wanted to land somewhere with cold ukrainian style, whether she was mass with a family with three kids in Illinois along the shores of Lake Michigan. With an icy winter all but guaranteed she boarded a plane in August, two thousand eight and jetted off for a new, Ensure a first before the other than it was ok. It was fine, but when she moved in with her new host family, she says things and is it a good this tears like? I don't even know why, though I didn't cry, but I just felt that is so sad. I don't know why
please than someone before a cultural exchange. It was three months. But when she moved in with her new host family, she says things quickly, soured she that she stayed in a dank basement room, the kids has behaved all the time. Is treated more like an employee than someone in a cultural exchange, but after three She decided to leave the host families and re match with another one but it was right around Thanksgiving. Time of year view Families are looking for a new AU pair, Daniela says she had two weeks to find a new placement. But nothing came through that's, was one of those when you just to at your loss- you didn't know, what to do next, if it doesn't work out what what am I going to do, and that was the first time whoops. Whom do you know?
So he had a visit scary moment of be lost. Your exchange wooden, agree to recorded interview, but an email. The agency told us it tried to reach out to Daniela several times after the rematch period ended and never heard back. Since Daniela left the programme early, she had to pay her own way home. That's part of the agreed men. She made when she came here but Daniela says she didn't: have the money for a plane ticket and felt she had nowhere to turn. So it was What I do- and I didn't ask for my need for my- are so because I was adult kind of, and it was bears in like asking for money, and I did no have to really survive in the country. I didn't know how to work here, what to do hub tool for jobs and told her about a potential job at a massage parlor called the day and night spar, and she told me about that,
Does it was the only option I did take it Jenny I didn't want to talk directly with us about what happened next, many details. You'll hear come from her testimony in court. Her diary read by an actress countries were originally in ukrainian and french, but they ve been translated into english November, twenty third, two thousand eight And now I am at a new place: Yesterday I left my host family. Not know whether it was right but did not have. Particular choice. I have not the slightest idea how I would live where I would live. What would I live on scary? I see no future Alex Campbell was the owner of day and night spar. He hired Daniela, Yellow Asthma Seuss. She works. Ten in the morning to ten at night six days a week Alex Price:
that he would help or find a new place to live. After a few days, Daniela moved into the apartment Alex had prepared for her. He charged her three huh twenty five dollars a month and loaned her a car November thirtieth. Two thousand eight. I am simply shocked thing. Change so fast. I simply not even reflect what is happening to me. Yesterday, I moved into an apartment. I live there by myself without any roommates, and I feel human. Daniela felt she owed Alex everything he controlled entire life and she began a relationship with him that turn physical within a month, but she told me that, after a couple of months he began getting jealous, he insisted keep their relationship a secret from the other spot employees. He, it named- Daniela Precious and me your call him daddy. He,
for two rings that resembled wedding bands and demanded that she wear them at all times January. Twenty seventh, two thousand nine. I am a bitch again the same thing from beginning I allow the man to manipulate me. I lowered myself to the lowest level
sex in the office. That is too much shame, and this is all for what I do not want. This Daniela told the court she asked Alex for her passport in social security card, but he kept them locked up and refuse to give them to her one day. Daniela testified a customer tried to hand on her. She and Alex had been together about five months and he flew into a jealous rage April, twelfth two thousand nine. He hit me on the face and forehead several times. He speaks of trust and he controls every trifle. The surveillance cameras installed everywhere and now in my work room, there is another one installed specifically from me. That was the reason for the fight he shook me took me by the throat and my scarf did not give a damn that he could strangle me another day. Daniela testified. She went to the gym without telling Alex he tied her up and beat her with his belt,
threatened to have her gang rapes, ordered her to get on her knees and apologize and call God now breathing is totally obvious all clear he does not I'd himself any longer his real personality and me I only suffer he is full of evil hinge, ways hurting others. I am very disappointed a man I loved and even wanted to marry his changed Alex, took her money and most of her documents. He destroyed her phone with, Oliver contacts in it. He said here, connections at the police department to keep Daniela from going there, the beatings and abuse continued later
at summer she says his threats got worse and one day she suddenly remembered the number of an old friend and called her August twentieth, two thousand nine Thursday. Right in the middle of the night, I took my things and fled spent the entire day at the police. Your God, take this situation under control. Let this pass the best way with your will, our men The police investigated. It turns out that Alex had been trafficking. Another former AU pair two other young women who had come to the: U S S students, they were all here on J, one, cultural exchange, reserves
Alex was charged in a federal human trafficking case for everything he did to Daniela and the other women Controlling their lives, forcing them to work without getting paid before some of the other women to perform sexual acts on clients at several spot. He owned Today. The state department has a hotline and an email for reporting abuse this. The fairly recent edition that wasn't in place nine years ago when Daniela went through her experience when you get involved is when a complaint comes forward to us directly. That's deputy assistant. Secretary carry Lowery. She manages the state Duma and exchange the Au Pair agents, is she says they are responsible for letting us know when either a host family and or no paired
have ended the programme early and or they concluded the programme. If agencies don't update their record, it's hard to know exactly how many AU pairs are staying illegally in the country. Lowery says this. Date. Department has methods to track that we work in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, I was local law enforcement and the south answers to ensure that those individuals know the consequences of overstay their visa overstay in their programme Daniela says no, one from homeland security or law enforcement contacted her. There may more undocumented cases like hers. We do not one only of an AU pair in a limbos. It donation where they feel like they don't know what their rights are, how we will take care of them down
Was testimony and diary helped to secure Alex Campbells conviction? The court sentenced him to life in prison day. Daniels life is back on track. She's married and since we visited her for this story, she delivered a baby boy. Husband does not know her full story and Daniela wants to keep it that way: That's another reason we're not using her real name. Daniela, says she's a different person than when she arrived in this country. I took a of it and it's in them unforgettable to trust people said it does happen automatically more before he was at a medically says that moment I've got this skill, not trust in, and I still don't.
Thanks Northrop Gouty, investigate fund, it reveals Falada cabaret up for bringing us this story. What happened to Daniela is an extreme example of what can go wrong for young woman who comes here as an AU pair, but a more common issues for AU pairs has to do with compensation. Obey Don't make a lot of money just south of two hundred dollars a week, far less than the federal minimum wage of seven hundred and twenty five an hour hope your agencies have argued that women also get compensation for room and board, and that makes up the difference we reached out to all sixteen au pair agencies to ask them about wages and other concerns raised in the story, but none of them agreed to record an interview with us still.
An opportunity to hear what they think about this issue because they ve been, vocal in their opposition to something called a domestic workers, bill of rights, labour force development of rebuild, this is a hearing at the State House in Boston Massachusetts. Back in March, lawmakers were discussing a proposal to exclude AU pairs from the domestic workers, bill of rights, state law It ensures that people who work in the home get things like state minimum wage rest days notice. Of termination with severance pay. At the hearing, Natalie Jordan. In your vice president. A cultural care au Pair argued that AU pairs are already protected, but in different ways. This is a u a programme with requirements and oversight simply not in place elsewhere. The federal pro- regulations already address many of the requirements of the domestic worker bill of rights and actual provide even further protections and exempt
and for a pair participants as critical as in fact, there are several provisions which are in direct conflict with, but our regulations, including decrease weekly, rest periods, unpaid rest periods, a provision for being on duty for twenty four consecutive hours and banking of ours to include the jailer pair programme purchased participants would actually confuse participants and lead to potential vulnerabilities messages. You stay, Senator Dan Wolf remain sceptical of the Au Pair programmes. Cultural merits, a lot of examples We can argue our current cultural exchange, for example, if I ran a in art gallery. Should I be able to bring people in and pay them four dollars an hour because working in an art galleries, cultural exchange? If I read a food restaurant, served american food. God help us and I was really people in from foreign countries, so they could learn how to cook american food. Why would they want that? should I be able to pay them four dollars an hour,
honestly, you know you're going to hire somebody to come in and help you with your home situation. Part of it is you're going to look for what the best bargainers and a party Our concern has to be that we are now putting our domestic workers that we have taken. A huge step forward on behalf of ETA. Competitive disadvantage economically, with with an open So when a family chooses to hosting AU pair there's an hence amount of responsibility that they are taking on in doing that and its far different than bring someone into, for example, an art gallery or a restaurant, because there as a sort of outsourcing element to that right, but it doesn't come in to your home. Choosing to have your children be a part of an apparently solution is again. A very specific kind of choice is very like it in a job you're, not you're, not questioning whether the relationship is employer. Employee incorrect, I mean this In spite of all the great benefits, the emotional ties, the cultural exchange
Still is an employer, employee relationship? Is it not? I think, to some degree, but it's it's a cultural exchange programme freedom. So specifically, what on earth so far Ellie. Jordan of cultural care, has failed to convince law makers in Massachusetts to exclude AU pairs from the domestic workers bill of rights. But here's the thing advocates told us that even In the seven states, with these type of laws on the books, they having heard of a single instance, were agencies Heaven Greece, the amount of money, Au Pairs, are paid today show was edited by shall dwell. Fernanda come arena was led producer. Thanks to the west. A fund and editor. Sarah blue stain aversion, The story appears in the Washington Post magazine our stay
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Transcript generated on 2019-12-21.