Civil Legal Aid Supports Federal Efforts to Help Human Trafficking Victims
Legal aid helps restaurant workers in federal prosecution of traffickers and public benefits
“Narawit” was enticed to Colorado from Southeast Asia with a work visa and good wages as a chef. However, the restaurant owner forced him to work twelve-hour shifts without breaks, and the pay was far less than promised with numerous illegal deductions and fees. When the owner didn’t renew his visa, Narawit feared he had no options. Fortunately, DOJ prosecuted the owner, and Colorado Legal Services (CLS) helped Narawit and 8 other workers in the federal prosecution. CLS helped them meet with federal prosecutors and investigators, calculate unpaid wages, and prepare victim impact statements. CLS also helped recover restitution for nearly 60 workers. Later, when Narawit became seriously ill, CLS, with funding from OVC’s Specialized Services for Victims of Human Trafficking grant, helped him successfully appeal the denial of Medicaid and food stamps by establishing his eligibility as a human trafficking victim.
WH-LAIR Case Study: Help Human Trafficking Victims