JWB’s focus in 2021 was on mentorship programmes for frontline caseworkers. Our first full-term cohort practiced skills that will help them help more workers seek justice abroad and at home. The programmes also developed a network of colleagues who can help make cross-border claims the ordinary rather than the extraordinary that they are today. Looking to 2022 and beyond, here is where we go next:
JWB aims to answer the shortage of frontline stakeholders who can support cross-border cases. Currently, many migrant worker clients have to represent themselves in court – which is often impossible given that many have or will leave Hong Kong. This is where developing more union and lay representatives who can appear at the lower-level tribunals is crucial. Our team will be developing training programmes for this need in 2022 and 2023.
JWB also relies heavily on pro bono legal partners. However, our partners’ expertise and competencies do not always cover all aspects of our clients’ claims, such as personal injury claims in cases of physical and sexual abuse. We are thus aiming to strengthen our partners’ capacity and expand our network of lawyers who can support a greater range of client needs. We have kicked start this priority by launching the Just Compensation Toolkit that brings lawyers new to our work up to speed.
With gathering restrictions finally lifted after nearly two years, the Singapore team is developing a full
menu of advanced training workshops in 2022. These focus on reconnecting with our Singapore-based
network and delivering targeted intensive trainings on cross-border casework. Longer-term, we aim to
advance collaboration between our partners in Singapore and in Indonesia so that both sides can begin
collaboration on cross-border matters independently of JWB. This will be done via online and in-person
meetings and facilitating casework collaboration between our partners along this migration route.
As the team’s mentorship programme carries over to the first half of 2022, we will first focus on graduating our first cohort of 13 mentees and 7 community organizations. Post-mentorship, we will hit the road and understand our partners’ post-Covid needs in the field. We will also engage new community partners in underserved areas and begin scoping for capacity building programmes that meet their needs. Finally, we seek to leverage the skills of our entire community by further developing cross-border networks that give our community partners further access to international pro bono lawyers, relevant government agencies and other service providers at the national level. The end goal is to help build partner capacity, meeting their individual needs, and building towards more organizations who can carry cross-border cases.
By Jonathan White, PR Volunteer @JWB
The PowerUp Campaign features how JWB scales up its impact through building capacity with our allies. Our partners, including mentors, mentees, funders and frontline organization leaders, came together to share their experiences in our capacity building programs. We also look ahead to how we continue to scale up our impact to ensure that access to justice is as mobile as migrant workers.