Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) is a national organization that was founded in 1974. It protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.
AALDEF’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.
What They Do…
Educational Resources are 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 here.
Legal Rights resources in 12 languages as well.
Court: 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-Awadiwith 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.
Their Wish List…
Donate: It is only with your help that we can continue to provide the litigation, education, and advocacy that our community has come to depend upon over the last three decades.
Volunteer: If you are a lawyer or law student, volunteer your legal skills.
Learn more of what we are doing on our blog.