Anti-Trafficking Initiative

anti trafficking initiative.jpgAALDEF's Anti-Trafficking Initiative, launched in October 2005, provides free legal representation to trafficked and exploited women and youth workers. In addition to the protections that exist for all workers in the U.S., federal and state laws protect and support survivors of trafficking. According to the federal government, hundreds of thousands of victims are trafficked across international borders each year, and tens of thousands are currently trafficked into the U.S. As many as one-third of these individuals -- the largest group -- are from Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or threats against a person in order to make her work against her will. Trafficking may occur in a commercial industry (such as agriculture, manufacturing, construction, restaurant work, domestic work, or commercial sex work) or in a private context (such as a forced marriage). Forced to work for very little or no pay and with restricted access to the outside world, trafficking survivors often live in extreme isolation and fear coming forward to seek help.

AALDEF's Anti-Trafficking Initiative currently has educational resources available in 12 languages: English, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Punjabi, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese. Brochures and quarter-sheet palm cards are available for download below:

Anti-Trafficking Legal Rights Brochure
English, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Punjabi, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese

Anti-Trafficking Legal Rights Palm Cards
English, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi , Khmer, Korean, Lao, Punjabi, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu,
Vietnamese

AALDEF represents trafficking survivors from a variety of industries, including domestic work.  In February 2010, AALDEF submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in support of a domestic worker who filed a suit in Swarna v. Al-Awadi with claims of abuse and employment violations against a former Kuwaiti diplomat, his wife, and the state of Kuwait.  Ms. Swarna appealed the district court's decision to dismiss the case against the state of Kuwait under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and defended the lower court's decision to deny the former diplomat and his wife diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.  AALDEF, the ACLU Women's Rights Project, and 11 other organizations argued the defendants were not entitled to diplomatic immunity because Ms. Swarna filed her suit against them after the diplomat left his diplomatic post, and engaging in human trafficking is a commercial activity which deprives a diplomat of immunity protection.  In the June 2009 decision in the case, Baoanan v. Baja, AALDEF overcame the defense of diplomatic immunity claimed by a former Philippine diplomat and his wife.

AALDEF is a member of the New York Anti-Trafficking Network (NYATN) and the Freedom Network USA.  In collaboration with members of the NYATN Legal Subcommittee, AALDEF developed the following resources for advocates and practitioners who represent trafficking survivors in their applications for immigration relief:

Immigration Relief for Crime Victims: The U Visa Manual

Identification and Legal Advocacy for Trafficking Survivors (3d ed.): T Visa Manual

This program is made possible in part by grants from the Oak Foundation and The New York Bar Foundation.


12.4.17

2017 AALDEF exit poll: 2,538 Asian American voters polled in 4 states: VA, NJ, NY, MA

11.9.17

Nov. 15-16: AALDEF calls on Asian Americans to mobilize in DC for a clean DREAM Act

11.6.17

AALDEF to conduct exit poll & monitor poll sites in NJ, VA, NYC, & Boston on Election Day

10.30.17

Feb. 15, 2018: AALDEF lunar new year gala honoring Preet Bharara, Linda Greenhouse, and Chan Lee

10.8.17

Oct. 24: AALDEF "M. Butterfly" theater party and talkback with playwright David Henry Hwang

9.24.17

Oct. 1: DACA renewal clinic at Flushing Library

9.5.17

AALDEF denounces ending of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; new DACA fact sheet

8.23.17

Federal appeals court upholds ruling in AALDEF case that Texas election law violates Voting Rights Act

8.7.17

AALDEF denounces introduction of RAISE Act to restrict legal imigration

7.17.17

AALDEF exit poll presentations in Miami, Las Vegas, Atlanta & San Diego

5.11.17

AALDEF statement on the president's voter fraud commission

5.9.17

Screening of new PBS film "Chinese Exclusion Act" and Q&A with Ric Burns and Li-shin Yu on May 23

4.18.17

New AALDEF report: The Asian American Vote in 2016

3.15.17

AALDEF joins amicus brief in State of Hawaii's challenge to revised Trump travel ban

3.6.17

AALDEF condemns Trump Administration's revamped anti-immigrant travel ban

2.17.17

AALDEF joins Korematsu Center amicus brief in challenge to Trump travel ban in Brooklyn federal court