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Frequently Asked Questions
Justice Without Borders (JWB) is a not-for-profit organisation that supports victims of labour exploitation and human trafficking in seeking just compensation against their abusers, even after returning home. We work with governments and local support organisations along key migration routes to ensure victims can access legal aid, wherever they are.
We may be able to help you if:
• You were not paid your promised salary, paid excessive deductions, or paid excessive agency fees and/or were abused by your employer
• You have sufficient proof that a wrong was done to you
• You are from Indonesia or the Philippines
• You worked in Singapore or Hong Kong
• You are not under investigation or on trial for a crime and/or have not received a stern warning letter
Yes. Please make sure that we know how to reach you in your home country.
There are many steps in the claim process. Most importantly, be committed to working with us and our partners to seek compensation. Your commitment to the
case increases the chances of success.
Before you go home, we need you to collect all documents related to your job, including contracts, immigration documents, payslips and any other document showing you were or were not paid. If your case involves abuse or injuries, please collect your medical records, police reports, witness statements, and any photographs of your injuries.
JWB will likely interview you. We will also need copies of the documents above as well as your passport, work pass, and other basic documents.
If a lawyer takes on your case, he or she will also interview you. If a lawyer files a case for you, he or she will need you to review documents and possibly testify in
court. You will need to follow strict deadlines. Our pro bono lawyers will do everything they can to minimize the cost and expense to you.
JWB will take a few weeks to determine whether we can take on your case and to find lawyers who can represent you for free. Based on previous cases, the whole process may move as quickly as about 6-8 months, or will take 2-3 years for full litigation.
When you encounter a case where a victimized worker wants to go home and otherwise meets our criteria (see above), you may refer them to us for a civil claims assessment and, if appropriate, placement with a lawyer for pro bono representation.
Please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to talk through a case to see if it is one where we can assist.
The first step is for our organisations to enter into a memorandum of understanding
(MOU), so our respective roles are clear. Please contact us for a sample of what we
have used in the past.
The more the better! At a bare minimum, we need to be able to reach the client in his or her home country and obtain copies of anything else that you have already collected.
Yes. We will keep you apprised throughout the process, including the outcome of the
case. Additional communications about the case will be as set out in the MOU. We
believe in working closely with our partners and ensuring that credit is shared for successful utcomes. We will work with your PR staff on publicity.
Pro bono lawyers play a critical role in our work. We look to pro bono lawyers to assist us in evaluating cases and representing migrant workers in court. Please contact us to join our fantastic roster of pro bono lawyers committed to access to justice.
No. We expect our partners to give the same level of diligence, effort and professionalism to our pro bono cases as they do to their fee-generating cases.
Logistically, our pro bono lawyers conduct conflict checks prior to engagement, enter into engagement agreements directly with the client, and act in the best interests of the client at each step of the case.
Our clients are indigent and cannot afford a lawyer or even to pay for disbursements. We will discuss with you the various options for covering disbursements, including applying for the Law Society’s Ad Hoc Pro Bono Scheme.
We rely on our pro bono firms to commit to paying a set amount of disbursements,
which we can discuss.
Yes, we have staff and law students on hand to provide assistance at your direction. We can conduct preliminary legal research and collect additional information or
evidence. We can also assist in lining up needed support in the client’s home country.
Where necessary, a translator will be secured. The translator will sign a
Yes. Create a team with a locally qualified lawyer (or a litigator). If you need help
finding a partner, please let us know.