April 2008

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Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico April 27, 2008

This is an historic moment for Global Workers. Tonight 23 advocates from 13 human rights organizations from southern Mexico and Guatemala are arriving in Tapachula, Mexico for a three-day Training on Defending Transnational Migrant Workers in the United States. After over two years of carefully laying the groundwork traveling through the region to identify potential partners (from priests running migrant shelters to seasoned human rights attorneys), this training will be the official launch of the Global Workers Defender Network.

Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico April 28, 2008

The fist day of the training was wonderful. Most of the advocates are lawyers and they soaked up the day’s intensive survey of US employment law. All of the US law topics were carefully chosen as most relevant to transnational migrant workers and based upon the manual meticulously elaborated over the past 1.5 years by consulting attorney Nan Schivone.

Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico April 29, 2008

Day two saw the completion of the US employment law segment, which covered Discrimination (with a special emphasis on sexual harassment, a serious and under addressed problem in the work place, especially for farmworker women), Unions (interestingly the focus of the most extensive questions), Health and Safety (mostly the rights of injured workers), Temporary Guestworkers, and Human Trafficking.

Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico April 30, 2008

After one last substantive session focused on the use of international law, the training shifted into action. The last day was dedicated to how the Global Workers Defender Network will function. These defenders were trained to accomplish three objectives. 1. Educate migrant workers about their rights in the US. 2. Identify cases of workers exploited in the US to refer to Global Workers. 3. Through Global Workers, partner with US organizations who are facing challenges in assisting their worker clients who have returned to their home countries.

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