Labor Migration and Human Trafficking
by CBJC Staff October 3, 2014
The City Bar Justice Center’s Immigrant Women and Children Project recently met with a group of legal, labor rights and government agency leaders that work on issues of labor migration and human trafficking. The group was travelling with the Solidarity Center, a non-profit international organization that assists workers around the world struggling to achieve safe and healthy workplaces, family-supporting wages, social protections and a voice on the job. The leaders came from Bangladesh, India and the Maldives and work with migrant workers in the host, transit and destination countries and were uniquely situated to see the full effects of migrant worker exploitation.
Murshida Akter from the National Domestic Women Workers Union and Chandon Kuma Dey from the Bangladesh Independent Garment Workers Union Federation both work with workers from specific labor sectors and assist union leaders in advocating for workers.
Muslima Adter Roge and S K Rumana from BOMSA counsel migrant workers before they depart and coordinate with agencies in destination countries if workers experience exploitation or trafficking, to get them services and repatriate them. If migrant workers die while abroad, BOMSA assists in retrieving the bodies and ensuring that the workers’ families receive the pay that the worker should have received.
Fahmida Akther from the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association and Gayatri Jitendra Singh from the Human Rights Law Network in India work by providing legal services to victims of labor exploitation and trafficking and advocating with their respective governments to change the law and policy toward migrant workers.
Aishath Nafa Ahmed works with the Maldives Labour Relations Authority to change law and ensure adequate implementation to prevent human trafficking in a country where nearly half the population are migrant workers.
Jasiya Khatoon represents the Welfare Association for the Rights of Bangladeshi Emigrants, a workers’ rights organization that raises awareness of unlawful or unrelated recruiters and trafficking in order to improve conditions for migrants.
At the City Bar Justice Center, this group of activists, lawyers, and government officials were able to meet with New York-based lawyers and service providers to discuss the overlap in our work and our different strategies for assisting the victims of human trafficking.
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