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July 7, 2006

In the United Nations processes described in the last entry (and the United States immigration debate I might add), there is virtually no discussion of portable justice—the right and ability of transnational workers to access justice for workplace wrongs in the country of employment once they have left that country.

Most migratory norms focus on the rights in the country where the migrants are physically present. But the migrants’ ability to vindicate rights violated in one state when they return home or move to a third state is an issue that has received little attention.

July 3, 2006

Over the past year, Global Workers has leveraged opportunities to promote the issue of portable justice in the United Nations processes concerning migration.

June 16, 2006

Global Workers continues to search for support for the injured guestworker who has returned to Guatemala. Both legal and practical obstacles exist which may prevent the worker from receiving the care he needs. Practically, we have been told, it is challenging to locate a doctor in a foreign country who is willing to follow the American Medical Association’s guidelines for a workers compensation evaluation. To address this concern, we contacted the US embassy in Guatemala to inquire about its list of approved doctors. The embassy was very responsive.

June 2, 2006

Global Workers is pleased to report that it was able to obtain legal support for the Guatemalan guestworkers who were deceived into working in extremely exploitative conditions in Connecticut in violation of their H-2B contract. A legal team was assembled within days of Cathleen’s return from Guatemala. The exploitation is severe enough to warrant an investigation into possible human trafficking. Unfortunately, guestworkers vulnerability to abuse is increased by their lack of information about their rights and support services in the United States.

Guatemala City, Guatemala May 20, 2006

Back in Guatemala City, Cathleen signed up additional workers. In addition to the wage claim, one worker continues to suffer from an injury he sustained while working for Brickman in the USA in 2005. Although he is attempting to work now in Guatemala he clearly continues to suffer from the injury and should probably not be working at all. We are now seeking legal help for him so he can get the medical attention he deserves.

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