Justice Without Borders recently joined with the Legal Clinic at the University of Indonesia and the Indonesia Migrant Workers Union (SBMI) for a training on “Case Management and Identification of Compensation Claims for Indonesian Migrant Workers”, in Sukabumi, West Java.
The training, included nearly 30 participants, who sought to improve their legal understanding and case handling skills. The group included paralegals and village activists, the latter spearheading case handling at the community level.
How paralegals improve case outcomes
The presence of paralegals in the process of handling migrant worker cases can have a big impact on whether clients win their cases. “Navigating the various settlement mechanisms at home and abroad is complicated, and often underutilised. A paralegal’s assistance can ensure the client can submit a strong claim that has a better chance of success,” said Sri Aryani, Head of Office, JWB Indonesia.
Rizky, an SBMI representative, acknowledged that limited resources and difficulties accessing evidence usually are the main obstacles to successful cases.
“It is important to work with various agencies, including those abroad, to gain access to evidence,” he explained.
For instance, if migrant workers need records from hospitals abroad, overseas networks may be helpful in making the request. JWB in particular helps connect village activists to such organizations and can help obtain evidence from Hong Kong and Singapore.
Students from the Legal Clinic also presented on how to identify claims and how to build a good case chronologically. Given the occurrence of physical or sexual violence against domestic workers, they also presented materials on gender sensitivity. Participants learned what behavioral patterns should be applied or avoided when dealing with such cases.
The training closed with a follow-up meeting–participants submitted concrete steps they will take after the training. JWB will follow up with participants in the coming months to support participants as they implement what they learned in the training, and that village activists can build stronger working relationships with SBMI Sukabumi.