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Lydia Edwards

2014, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Lydia Edwards

Lydia Edwards

Name of Host Organization: Greater Legal Services
City, State: Boston, Massachusetts
Issue area: Immigrant Populations - Trafficking/Slavery, Immigrant Populations/Minorities, Domestic Violence
Sponsors: McDermott Will & Emery LLP

The Project

Lydia advocated for and represented labor-trafficked domestic workers who were disproportionately immigrant women of color, and provided legal resources for both immigration and civil remedies to prevent continued abuse through sustainable work.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Domestic workers are the second largest population being trafficked into the United States, yet few resources are dedicated to their representation. They are often isolated and easily hidden by their employers. When they come forward, the legal services for immigration and wages are bifurcated. This fellowship project seeks to create a comprehensive representation model where a trafficked domestic worker can be represented for her U or T visa and also her back wages or other civil remedies. This project will also create legal resources to assist current cooperatives and to help workers create cooperatives to ensure workers can have reasonable paid work regardless of their immigration status.