Posts Tagged ‘immunity’

NYATN members Lanning & Sussman and Vandenberg on CNN’s ac360 on U.S. v. Khobragade

NYATN members Avaloy Lanning and Dana Sussman at Safe Horizon’s Anti-Trafficking Program joined Martina Vandenberg on CNN’s ac360 on a segment called, “Uproar Surrounds Indian Diplomat’s Arrest.”  They describe how the case, United States v. Khobragade, is more than merely a labor dispute.  This case is one of many cases involving allegations of domestic worker complaints against their diplomat and consular employers.  See also the U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s statement about the case, United States v. Khobragade.

Updates: Safe Horizon’s Dana Sussman also appeared on Good Morning America this morning on a segment called, “India Demands that U.S. Drop Case Against Diplomat.”  She stated in part that the domestic worker “worked more or less around the clock.”  See more.

The New York Times did a piece, “Fury in India over Diplomat’s Arrest in New York,” and quoted Sussman as saying, “My client is frustrated with how the media has portrayed this story and the response from the Indian government.”  Read more.

She interviewed with CBS News in a piece, “Kerry Expresses Regret over Strip Search of Arrested Indian Diplomat.”  Sussman says: “The victim in this case is not a criminal defendant but the person who was denied her wages and underpaid for her work.”  Read more.  And Sussman also appeared on CBS This Morning on December 20th in a segment called, “Protests in India Grow over U.S. Treatment of Diplomat,” saying that the domestic worker “left with essentially the clothes on her back.”  See more.

Sussman told the AP, as reported in the Washington Post piece, “Worker Abuse by Diplomats a Problem, Advocates Say,” of the prevalence of exploitation and abuse of domestic workers by diplomats.  She says, “We’ve seen it across the board, we’ve seen with country missions to the U.N., we’ve seen it with consular officials, diplomats of all levels.”  Read more.

Sussman, Vandenberg, and Ivy Suriyopas reported on the frequency of exploitation of domestic workers in diplomat and consular households in the New York Times‘s piece, “Claim Against Indian Diplomat Has Echoes of Previous Cases.”  Vandenberg says, ““These cases are the tip of the iceberg.”  Read more.


Advocating for the rights of domestic workers trafficked and exploited by diplomats

The City Bar Justice Center’s Suzanne Tomatore and Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Ivy Suriyopas have been advocating for the rights of domestic workers who have been trafficked and exploited by diplomats.  The New York Daily News wrote in part:

“Suzanne Tomatore of the City Bar Justice Center said she has represented a dozen diplomat trafficking victims since 2002.”

“After Damayan helped maid Marichu Baoanan escape in 2006, she successfully sued her ambassador employer. Baoanan, a Filipina who says she was ‘enslaved’ in an E. 66th St. townhouse by United Nations ambassador Lauro Baja, got an undisclosed settlement in 2011.

“‘She said that she felt like she was in prison,’ said Ivy Suriyopas, of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.”

Read more….

Swarna v. Al-Awadi Amicus Brief

NYATN Supports an Abused Domestic Worker in her Suit Against a Former Diplomat

The New York Anti-Trafficking Network signed on to an Amicus Brief with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, ACLU Foundation Women’s Rights Project, and 10 others in support of Ms. Vishranthamma Swarna in her law suit, Swarna v. Al-Awadi et al., in February 2010.  Ms. Swarna was the former domestic worker of Badar Al-Awadi, a Kuwaiti diplomat, and his wife; her claims include charges of abuse and employment violations against the couple as well as the state of Kuwait.

NYATN in the News

Diplomatic Immunity at Issue in Domestic-Worker Abuse Cases,” By Sarah Fitzpatrick, The Washington Post, 9.20.09

“Baoanan’s attorney, Ivy Suriyopas, called the ruling ‘an important shift’ in cases involving diplomatic immunity. ”

“‘Unfortunately, cases involving diplomatic employers represent a disproportionate amount of the domestic-worker abuse cases we see,’ said Suzanne Tomatore, director of the Immigrant Women and Children Project at the New York City Bar Justice Center. ”


Former UN Diplomat Denied Immunity in Labor Lawsuit

Former UN Diplomat Denied Immunity in Labor Lawsuit

AALDEF has succeeded in getting a federal judge to withhold diplomatic immunity so that a survivor of trafficking and former domestic employee can pursue a civil suit against her UN ambassador employer.  Click Here to read “Former UN Diplomat Denied Immunity in Labor Lawsuit”

NYATN Addresses the Legal Issues of Bringing Diplomat Employers to Court for Violating Laws Against Human Trafficking

Ivy O. Suriyopas

Ivy O. Suriyopas, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

ABC News’ 20/20 featured NYATN member Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund‘s case, Baoanan v. Baja,in a segment called “Diplomats Abusing Domestic Help?”  There, staff attorney Ivy Suriyopas addressed the legal issues in bringing a lawsuit against diplomat employers for violating federal anti-trafficking statutes and other laws.  Watch the video….

NYATN Member AALDEF’s case, Baoanan v. Baja, in the News

NYATN member Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s case, Baoanan v. Baja, was in ABC News’ article, “Diplomats Accused of Behaving Badly but Protected by Immunity.”  It described the number of lawsuits former domestic workers have filed against their diplomat employers for human trafficking in violation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and other claims.  Read more….

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