Monthly Legal Clinics Critical in the Fight Against Trafficking


The Philippines is one of the largest labor exporters in the world, with six thousand people leaving the Philippines as migrant workers, every day. For Filipino migrant workers, trafficking is a common reality. In 2016 domestic work represented the largest sector of all labor trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.  Due to the nature of domestic work and migrant labor, while often hidden in plain sight, trafficking victims are isolated from society. In the fight against modern-day slavery, Damayan connects to these extremely isolated workers through extensive outreach and community education through flyering, Facebook, Know Your Rights Trainings, legal clinics, and monthly workers meetings. Through our legal clinics, Damayan provides legal and social services referrals, case management and enrollment in the Trafficking Victims Assistance Program. Our monthly legal clinics, now also include free health screenings and doctor consultations. 

During the April 15 and 16 Damayan Legal Clinic, 17 low-wage Filipino workers received critical legal services, provided by Atty. Melanie Zuch and Atty. Sean McMahon from the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, by screening workers with possible trafficking cases, domestic violence, adjustment of status, and general immigration questions. Atty. Thomas Lamadrid from Eisner and Dictor screened workers for possible stolen wage cases. Dr. Victor Sta. Ana from the Institute of Family Health provided the workers with free health screenings and doctor’s consultation. Dr. Victor Sta. Ana also presented on health services and resources specifically accessible to trafficking survivors as well as health services for anyone regardless of immigration status. 

To register for the May 27 & 28 Legal Clinic, please contact Lydia at 212.564.6057 or