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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sign the petition. End abuse at the "Rape Factory"

Sign the Petition

Thousands of Change.org members have already spoken out against abuses at what's becoming known as the "rape factory" in Jordan.
“We only went to Jordan to earn money to help our families; we had no idea that factory managers would rape so many of us young girls,” said a young woman who goes by the name Nazma to protect her identity. 
Nazma is one of the dozens of Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi young women who have been sexually assaulted by supervisors at Classic Factory in northern Jordan, which makes clothes for American brands like Walmart, Target, and Macy's.
Leading up to next week’s trial against a Classic supervisor charged with rape -- the first such trial -- managers are escalating abuses. Supervisors are locking victims and witnesses in the factory, threatening and intimidating them to ensure they will not testify.
And although the Jordanian government promised that Anil Santha, the manager accused of rape, would not be allowed to return before the trial, he's back on the factory floor.
Despite global outcry over Classic’s abuses and the tactics they’re using to dodge justice, international customers like Walmart, Target, and Macy's are still buying Classic clothing.
Target and Macy's have claimed that they are investigating conditions at the factory, but they're deferring to the Jordanian Ministry of Economy and Labor -- which claims there is no evidence of sexual abuse.
Instead, conditions are getting worse. In addition to imprisoning women inside the factory, managers are removing all the males workers -- in some cases even deporting them -- cutting the staff to older male supervisors and vulnerable young women. 
At Classic's urging, the government also arrested the leader of an outside human rights NGO and took his passport to prevent him from intervening to protect the women at the factory.
“All we can do is cry,” Nazma said. “We ask the people who buy our garments, please end this abuse and torture we face. We should be able to work without fear of sexual assault.”
Now is a critical moment for action. Outside pressure and attention can ensure that victims and witnesses are freed and can testify against their rapists -- and that Classic Factory reforms its policies and practices. 
Otherwise, the manager and supervisors will continue to imprison, assault, and rape girls and women with renewed impunity.
Sign now to urge Walmart, Target, and Macy's to force Classic Factory to free imprisoned victims and witnesses -- and end its human rights abuses against women:
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Patrick and the Change.org team