What do natural disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma remind us about human trafficking?
As we’ve watched the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma unfold, our thoughts are with the many affected people across the United States and the Caribbean. Among its many challenges, natural disasters can turn into a race against the clock. Rapid response systems and streamlined coordination make all the difference. Technology has a role to play when we think about how we want to respond to, and coordinate with, those who urgently need help.
Natural disasters lead to vulnerability and increased risk of human trafficking. Displacement and interruption of income make living, and even surviving, more challenging, especially for those who are already at a disadvantage.
For a trafficking survivor in a dire and time-sensitive situation, whether looking to fight for a worker’s right to full payment from an employer or a tenant’s right to a safe home, connecting to the right lawyer at the right time is not easy. ALIGHT is pioneering the use of real-time mobile technology for human trafficking survivors in Colorado through the ALIGHT Legal Needs Matching Pilot with the aim to expand our reach. We are making it easier and quicker for survivors (and service providers working with survivors) to access free legal help (see Helping Survivors below for more).
We need YOUR support as ALIGHT works to improve the delivery of justice to human trafficking survivors. Please consider being a Light for Justice and assisting us in helping more survivors by donating today.
In Full Light,
The ALIGHT Team
ALIGHT ENVISIONS a world where anti-trafficking professionals have the resources to achieve justice and restitution for victims of human trafficking. Our MISSION is to enable anti-trafficking advocates and legal providers to connect across borders and build solutions together.
Do you work with – or know someone – who may be a survivor of human trafficking in Colorado in need of free legal assistance? Lawyers can help with many of the obstacles confronting survivors, including:
- obtaining a civil order of protection
- applying for housing and benefits
- clearing criminal records
- understanding terms of a child custody agreement
- resolving debt disputes with collections agencies
You can connect to the ALIGHT Legal Needs Matching Pilot and our network of pro bono lawyers from civil, family and criminal law through an ALIGHT Community Partner. To participate or learn more, contact us at email@example.com.
UPCOMING 2017 ALIGHT EVENTS
OCTOBER 1, 2017 THE JUSTICE RUN, LITTLETON, CO: Join us in the 2017 Justice Run, a family-friendly event and professionally-timed race to raise money and awareness for human trafficking and its survivors. Lace up your sneakers and register with the “ALIGHT Justice Run 2017,” or relax and directly donate to support the ALIGHT team instead. When you register enter “ALIGHT” to ensure your proceeds go to benefit our mission.
OCTOBER 24, 2017 U.N. DAY, POSNER CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, DENVER, CO: Bringing the work and lessons from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women close to home, ALIGHT is pleased to partner with the U.N. Association of Denver to offer a joint fundraising event in honor of U.N. Day. Keep an eye on our Facebook events page for more details.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
JULY 17, 2017 “IDENTIFYING HUMAN TRAFFICKING SURVIVORS” WEBINAR: ALIGHT Executive Director Marianna Kosharovsky presented a workshop to more than 100 advocates at sexual assault organizations working with the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA). Participants learned about the signs of human trafficking, the types of legal needs survivors may face and how ALIGHT can connect them to free legal aid. You can watch the webinar here.
LAW, TECH AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING: In the spring, ALIGHT participated in the Princeton Center for Information Technology and Policy’s design ethics workshop. Advocates, engineers, designers, developers and academics specializing in IT ethics explored parameters for ethical technology use with vulnerable populations. In a recent blog post, “Design Ethics for Gender-Based Violence & Safety Technologies,” organizers Kate Sim and Ben Zevenbergen share some instructive primers for developers interested in creating technologies for those affected by gender-based violence collectively generated at the workshop.
APPLY TO ALIGHT’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALIGHT is searching for passionate people interested in joining our Board of Directors and fighting for justice for survivors of human trafficking. Learn more about the position and its requirements here, then write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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