How can technology close the distance between survivors of human trafficking in rural areas and the legal services they need, which are often centered in urban areas hundreds of miles away?
With visions of vast, green fields and picturesque small towns lined with picket fences, it can be easy to forget that rural America is not removed from human trafficking injustices. In fact, rural areas have additional, unique challenges to fighting human trafficking, including a lack of services (such as legal aid, housing assistance or economic support); remoteness that can lead to less intervention from neighbors or strangers; small or dispersed police forces; and economies centered in agriculture, an industry particularly vulnerable to trafficking.
A recent Polaris Project report found that more than 15 percent of the labor exploitation cases reported from 2007 to 2016 occurred in agriculture and animal husbandry industries — the largest single type reported for that issue.
In one example, a teacher in Peru was recruited to make $1,300 a month as a sheepherder on a Colorado ranch. Once he arrived, his passport was taken and he was forced to work 11 to 14 hours a day, every day, while making just $750 a month and being housed in a small sheep wagon.
ALIGHT is committed to increasing access to meaningful justice for survivors, and we offer tools that eliminate the distance between those in remote areas and lawyers eager to help. Our innovative model uses mobile technology to connect survivors who have critical legal needs to pro bono attorneys offering a wide-range of expertise — in real time.
Do you, or a community organization you know, need legal help for survivors? ALIGHT is expanding our service by offering a way for more survivors to connect to a lawyer in our Legal Needs Pilot through an ALIGHT community partner.
We also need YOUR support as ALIGHT strives to bring justice to human trafficking survivors in areas urban, rural and everywhere in between. Please consider being a Light for Justice and donate 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.
CONNECT WITH A LAWYER THROUGH AN ALIGHT COMMUNITY PARTNER
Are you working with survivors of human trafficking in Colorado and need free legal assistance? You can connect to ALIGHT’s Legal Needs Matching Pilot through an ALIGHT community partner, who will screen and post your request on your behalf. To participate, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOVE ALIGHT’S WORK AND WANT TO BE A PART OF IT?
We are looking for experienced professionals to join our team. See our postings for the positions of Director of Operations, Director of Development and Development Associate or check out other ways to get involved!
UPCOMING 2017 ALIGHT EVENTS
JUNE 29, 2017 HAPPY HOUR AT BAERE BREWING, DENVER, CO: Come meet ALIGHT and our anti-trafficking community at the ALIGHT Happy Hour, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Baere Brewing, 320 Broadway Unit E in Denver. ALIGHT is honored to be Baere Brewing’s “Charity of the Month,” with 1 percent of sales in June going to our organization.
JULY 23, 2017 SIPPING N’ PAINTING FUNDRAISER, DENVER, CO: Come create a beautiful painting featuring a feather and birds and support ALIGHT at the same time. Join us from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Sipping N’ Painting, 6300 E. Hampden Ave. #D, in Denver. For each $40 ticket, ALIGHT will receive $20.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Executive Director Marianna Kosharovsky explains the ALIGHT Legal Needs Pilot at Princeton University
APRIL 28, 2017 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, PRINCETON, NJ: ALIGHT Executive Director Marianna Kosharovsky and Advisor Simon Cohen presented at the Center for Information Technology and Policy’s “Gender-based Violence and Safety in IT Design: Design Ethics Workshop.” Technologists, policy experts, researchers, lawyers and activists gathered to discuss and develop new approaches for creating accessible and targeted solutions. One key takeaway was the concern for the unintended consequences of technology — particularly for vulnerable populations such as survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.
TO LEARN MORE
To learn more about human trafficking, visit our Resources Library. We also invite you, especially lawyers, to consider how trauma affects human trafficking survivors and the dynamics of legal representation in Working with Human Trafficking Survivors: A Primer on Trauma for Lawyers, Advocates and Others.
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