JWB Q1 2018 Quarterly Newsletter: Executive Director’s Note

March 21, 2018


With the Lunar New Year just behind us, JWB has hit the ground running with an exciting legal victory and expansion to a new country!

We and our law firm partners also celebrated an exciting victory in Hong Kong courts when a Philippines-based client won her appeal for legal aid to cover her ongoing fight against an unfair, and expensive, dismissal. We also marked a significant milestone when we held our very first training workshop in the Philippines, bringing our expertise on cross-border civil litigation to advocates in our fifth country.

Our client’s successful appeal held good news for many potential applicants who have already returned home but may still have claims: the amount of the claim alone will not determine access to legal aid. Instead, personal circumstances, prospects of a clean employment record and access to justice can be key considerations. With access to the courts an often expensive proposition, legal aid can mean the difference between getting just compensation and remaining empty handed.

Over in Manila, we took the first steps into the Philippines with an introductory workshop with the union SENTRO and our sponsors, the International Labour Organization. SENTRO union members are working to build cross-country capacity paralegal support for migrant workers, with our training helping to equip their leaders to identify claims and collect evidence for those workers who have returned home. We will be following up this training later this year with additional outreach to other migrant worker organizations across the country, as we seek to extend the support we already provide in Indonesia to those in the Philippines as well.

These developments and many more are below, and they have all been possible with the help of partners who have provided referrals, paralegal assistance, and pro bono and financial support. To all of you who form our community, thank you for joining us in making access to just compensation possible for all workers, even after they return home. The rest of this year promises to be just as exciting!

Warm wishes,


Douglas MacLean
Executive Director