FSM Government files for U.S. Government’s Assistance to Investigate Potential Abuse and Mistreatment of its Citizens Recruited to Work for a U.S. Company in Sioux City, Iowa

FSM Information Services
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—After His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), learned of potential abuse of FSM citizens who have been recruited in the FSM, and are now residing in the U.S. State of Iowa, he instructed the FSM National Government to prioritize pursuing the issue. On September 27th 2019, after a series of consultations and gathering information, the Government of the FSM, through its Embassy in Washington D.C., lodged a formal request to the Government of the United States of America for assistance in investigating allegations that multiple citizens of the FSM are being abused by an employer in the United States, after having been recruited to live and work in the State of Iowa.

Citing the Compact of Free Association, as Amended, and its related agreements, including the Agreement Regarding Protections for Citizens of the FSM Seeking to Engage in Employment in the United States Pursuant to Recruitment or Other Placement Services, the Embassy, on behalf of the affected citizens, is requesting the U.S Government to investigate the potential mistreatment of these FSM citizens.

In its Diplomatic Note to the U.S. Department of State, the FSM Embassy notes that “the Government of the FSM is extremely concerned about these allegations of mistreatment of its citizens.” The request to investigate further cites Section D(1) of the Law Enforcement Agreement between the FSM and the United States which provides specifically with regards to the recruitment and employment of FSM citizens in the U.S., that “the Government of the United States agrees to conduct investigations in the United States, as appropriate, to ensure compliance with U.S. laws.”

Among some of the allegations cited in the request includes potential human trafficking and labor abuse, which appear to be violations of U.S. laws.

On behalf of its affected citizens, the FSM Embassy has also reported these allegations to the National Human Trafficking Hotline and will continue to implore other potential options in its efforts to ensure its citizens are safe and protected while employed in the United States.

The FSM National Government is highly aware of citizens’ interest on this issue due to its prevalence on social media. In response to this growing concern, President Panuelo has instructed that the diplomatic note be publicly available as seen here: https://gov.fm/files/DipNo-19-12.pdf

Citizens of the FSM who live in the U.S. are encouraged to contact the Embassy of the FSM in D.C. regarding this matter, and indeed any other matter that requires Governmental assistance or intervention. Please contact the Embassy of the FSM, D.C. at +1-202-223-4383, dcm@fsmembassydc.org, or through its online contact form here: http://www.fsmembassydc.org/webform/contact-us