Global Workers Defender Network- Mexico Forum - Day Two
Day two was marked as a day of planning, divided into three sessions. The first part focused on how networks function in general and how they can advance common goals. Then we shared capacities of each organization as groundwork for what is feasible to achieve as a Network in Mexico. The discussion then shifted to the projects the Network wants to address in the upcoming year. Such topics included advocacy with state governments to push them to take an active role in preventing visa fraud, identifying abuses and referring cases for labor abuses suffered in relation to the work abroad, and trainings on various topics such as Canadian law, among others.
Global Workers Defender Network- Mexico Forum - Day One
14 representatives from the Mexican Global Workers Defender Network gathered today in Mexico City for the 5th Defender Network Forum. The diverse group of participating Defenders came from 6 states and work on a variety of issues in addition to collaboration with Global Workers, such as indigenous rights, children rights and migrants in transit. The good will to learn more about the substantive issues we focus on and their drive to absorb and apply it in education to migrants, changing laws on the state and federal level, and the legal cases for workers abused in relation to their employment abroad was evident.
The final day of the forum began with the anticipated strategic planning session, where we worked towards a plan for the network in Mexico that will guide our efforts in winning more justice for migrant workers in the year to come. The exercise called for breakout group sessions and ended with a sharing of group conclusions that fed into a larger group discussion. The outcomes of this strategic planning session will ultimately lay the foundation for a broader, regional strategic plan.
Wednesday, the first day of the 3rd Defender Network Forum began in earnest with an update on the status of comprehensive immigration in the U.S. Defenders are constantly bombarded with news surrounding the issue, and it was crucial to clear up any misinterpretations as a preventative measure, especially because unscrupulous “recruiters” can easily exploit the clutter of information to defraud those seeking opportunities abroad.
Following suit after the recent New Defender Trainings, this is the first year we have designated separate forums for the network based on country. Today, over 20 defenders from 11 states in Mexico arrive for Global Worker’s 3rd Defender Network Forum in Mexico City. The forum is designed to provide a space to examine our work as a network in the context of the problems migrants face in the Mexico-U.S. / Canada corridor, and to start on a strategic plan to increase the portability of justice for these workers.
New Defender Training in Central America – Day Three
The final day explored in detail the goals, commitments, and activities of the Global Workers Defender Network. The framework we launched in 2008 has matured and evolved as we have expanded the Network to more regions.
New Defender Training in Central America – Day Two
Day Two of the training ambitiously covered numerous topics including: wage and hour laws (i.e. basic minimum wage issues), workplace health and safety, unions, farmworkers, and human trafficking. The day also included a first for us, one virtual session led by an immigration lawyer in Seattle via GoToWebinar. Each session included exercises to help the participants understand and apply the law, including: a True and False foot race on comparative legal systems, a game of Jeopardy to identify safety violations in the workplace, and a version of Balderdash to discern false answers on the H-2 visa. The fun activities kept the participants actively engaged.
The mission of the Global Workers Justice Alliance is to combat worker exploitation by promoting portable justice for transnational migrants through a cross-border network of worker advocates and resources.
Global Workers coined the term portable justice to describe the right and ability of transnational migrant workers to access justice in the countries of employment even after they have departed for their home countries.