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Mexico City, Mexico - July 30

Welcome Reception and Day One

Today marks the beginning of the 3rd New Defender Training. Over 30 advocates from 16 human rights organizations from Mexico are arriving in Mexico City, Mexico. It is the first country-specific New Defender Training to date, and is symbolic of the growth the Newtork has been able to achieve in the past couple of years. With this training, the Global Workers Defender Network is poised to double the numbre of defender organizations in Mexico alone. The inaugural event is an Welcome Reception where new defenders and existing defenders, as well as trainers and Global Workers staff, have the opportunity to break the ice and reconnect before diving in to the two and a half day intensive legal training that will follow. The New Defender Training, as opposed to the Defender Forums, is intended for, but is not limited to, defenders who are lawyers in either new or existing organizations and who have not yet been trained. In the next couple of days, the advocates who are considering joining the Global Workers Defender Network,  will learn about the work of the organization and the Global Workers Defender Network, and training on U.S. employment law, the judicial system in the U.S., immigration, and our work in facilitating labor cases for workers who have come to the United States and have suffered labor rights abuses. Upon conclusion of the training, these organizations will be equipped to cooperate with U.S. organizations to provide migrant workers access to portable justice in employment-related claims; identify new cases of migrants who were exploited while working in the U.S., but have returned to their home country, and to educate migrants and other organizations about transnational labor rights in the U.S. 

Day One: U.S. legal system, Civl Procedure, and Wage and Hour. 

These were the highlights of today's agenda. The day kicked off with an icebreaker that allowed defenders to share laughs, and get acquainted in the right spirit to make the most of the next three days. An introduction to the topic of labor and migration in the U.S. was presented by Program Associate and Communications Coordinator, Yadira Huerta, to provide context for the work of the Network and the ensuing training. Up next defenders enjoyed an introduction to the U.S. judicial system, led by Global Workers Executive Director, Cathleen Caron. Board Member and Mexico Employment Attorney Patricia Juan Pineda walked the advocates through a comparative law exercise between the U.S. and Mexican legal systems. Then, defenders were treated to their first guest speaker, Tom Fritzsche of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who conducted a module on Civil Procedure and how to assert a workers rights through such proceses. He followed this with a session on Wage and Hour , the final topic for the day. 

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