View the PDF version of the 2012 At-A-Glance
Building Capacity: The Global Workers Defender Network
In 2012, Global Workers expanded our Defender Network in Mexico. Ten new organizations joined, including the Women’s Network of Bajío, and Mirabal Sisters Center for Human Rights, giving us a total of seventeen Defender organizations in eleven states.
Our Defender Network is also growing in Central America. We held our first national forum in Guatemala, bringing together a dozen of advocates to strategize. We also reached dozens more migrant advocates in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Our Executive Director, Cathleen Caron, has spearheaded this effort, in preparation for a ‘New Defender Training’ in early 2013.
We strengthened our network by training over a dozen new advocates within current Defender groups. By doing so, we helped them to increase their ability to engage in transnational legal action.
Promoting Migrant's Rights: Cross-border Education
Through the Jornaleros/SAFE project in Mexico, we helped to educate hundreds of temporary agricultural workers. Through an extensive outreach campaign, we helped migrants better understand their rights and the resources available to them.
Global Workers held the first-ever Temporary Worker Forum in Guatemala. We educated over one hundred workers, advocates and government officials about guestworker programs and migrants’ rights under U.S., Canadian, and Mexican laws.
In Guatemala, we worked with U.S. embassy officials to reduce abuses of migrants. Led by two of our Defenders – Aroldo Palacios and Waldemar Barrera, the U.S. embassy increased their impact ten-fold in educating Guatemalans to avoid visa fraud.
We launched the pilot phase of our innovative Radionovela campaign. We will reach hundreds of thousands of migrants and their families, to teach them their rights under U.S. labor laws.
Winning Portable Justice: Transnational Legal Action
In 2012, we continued to provide invaluable legal support, positively impacting hundreds of transnational migrants and their family members. As our outreach and education work grows, we expect even greater collaboration with U.S. advocates and home-country Defenders to increase migrants’ access to portable justice.
We aided a Guatemalan worker to win his job back after he was unjustly fired by a Canadian employer. Our Defender, Cristián Otzin worked with Canadian labor lawyers to ensure that the worker could provide testimony remotely – setting an important precedent at the Canadian Labor Court in Quebec.
Global Workers helped a widow and her family collect over $200,000 USD. Andrea Ventura lost her husband and father of their children to a fatal accident while he was working in the U.S. Thanks to Defender Aroldo Palacios, the family was able to process a seemingly endless amount of legal forms so that they could receive this life-changing settlement.
Strengthening Migrants' Rights: Global Advocacy
Global Workers released its groundbreaking report, Visas, Inc., an exposé on the U.S. temporary worker visa programs. The report received critical acclaim for the first in‐depth look at this system. As the U.S. Congress begins to revisit immigration reform, we will use Visas, Inc. to inform needed policy changes.
We successfully advocated with the Guatemalan government to halt the approval of an abusive recruiter. Inspired by these actions, there was a groundbreaking Congressional hearing, exposing the unscrupulous practices of recruiters seeking migrant workers.
We launched our initiative seeking enforcement of migrants’ rights under Article 28 of Mexican Labor Law. At our press launch, over 200 advocates worldwide tuned into our event, streamed live online. To build on our success, we’ll bring together partners in government and civil society to strategize to utilize this provision.