Litigation and Advocacy on Behalf of Survivors of Sex Trafficking

In partnership, with the Legal Aid Society, IWHR is currently representing survivors of human trafficking into prostitution in New York state proceedings to vacate prostitution related convictions. We are also involved in international advocacy before the U.N. and law reform efforts seeking challenge the criminalization of sex trafficking victims in the first place, and to ensure that when they have been treated as criminals, trafficking survivors have access to effective remedies to redress the harms of criminalization.

Domestic Workers Cases

From 2003-09, IWHR represented immigrant domestic workers subject to abuses under federal, state and/or international law. We represented a South Asian domestic worker suing the Government of Kuwait and a high-ranking Kuwaiti diplomat for the damages she suffered when she was trafficked to the United States and held in slave-like conditions in the diplomat's Manhattan home. We also represented a client who was trafficked here by her sister-in-law at age 16 and forced to work around the clock without pay and without being permitted to attend school. These cases involved issues under the Alien Tort Claims Act, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and domestic law claims. We also have filed several federal court cases challenging the failure to observe the federal and state wage and hour laws.

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Rebecca Pendleton '12 in Haiti.