Thoughts About Violence Against Trafficked Women on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

November 25th is designated by the United Nations as “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.”  The date was selected to “commemorate the lives of the Mirabal sisters,” who were assassinated on November 25, 1960 during the Trujillo dictatorship, as explained in the General Assembly resolution designating the day:

Previously, 25 November was observed in Latin America and a growing number of other countries around the world as “International Day Against Violence Against Women”. With no standard title, it was also referred to as “No Violence Against Women Day” and the “Day to End Violence Against Women”. It was first declared by the first Feminist Encuentro for Latin America and the Caribbean held in Bogota, Colombia (18 to 21 July 1981). At that Encuentro women systematically denounced gender violence from domestic battery, to rape and sexual harassment, to state violence including torture and abuses of women political prisoners. The date was chosen to commemorate the lives of the Mirabal sisters. It originally marked the day that the three Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic were violently assassinated in 1960 during the Trujillo dictatorship (Rafael Trujillo 1930-1961). The day was used to pay tribute to the Mirabal sisters, as well as global recognition of gender violence.

The resolution “[i]nvites, as appropriate, Governments, the relevant agencies, bodies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system, and other international organizations and non-governmental organizations, to organize on that day activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem of violence against women.”  

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Supreme Court Takes Pass on NLRB Undocumented Workers Case

4united_states_supreme_court_112904 The United States Supreme Court decided yesterday to deny certiorari in an NLRB case concerning whether undocumented workers are considered employees under Section 2(3) of the NLRA. Both the NLRB and the D.C. Circuit found that they were in Agriprocessors v. NLRB. The issue about the status of the undocumented workers became important because the company refused to bargain with the union once it won the election because seventeen out of twenty-one employees were challenged as being in the United States illegally.

Agriprocessors, a company that specializes in the production of kosher meats, has also been in the news lately after the company was raided by the government based on the employment of a large number of undocumented workers and after its top officials were arrested for lying about its workers’ citizenship status.

This is an interesting case because it can be contrasted with the view that the Supreme Court took in the case of Hoffman Plastics, in which the Court held that undocumented workers who were illegally fired under the NLRA could not seek backpay.

Like everything else in this area of the overlap of immigration law and labor law, it is unlikely this is the last we have heard about this issue.

Cross posted at Workplace Prof Blog.

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Attorney General Cancels Stay in Matter of R-A-, the Case of a Guatemalan Woman Seeking Asylum From Severe Domestic Violence

Some of my former students will remember the domestic-violence asylum case, Matter of R-A-, which had been pending in a sort of limbo state since January 2001.  The R-A- case presents the issue of whether an immigrant may obtain asylum in the United States on the basis of her well-founded fear that she will suffer severe domestic violence if she is returned to her country, violence from which her country will not protect her.  This week, Attorney General Michael Mukasey issued a decision directing the Board of Immigration Appeals to reconsider the case.

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