Filing Suit Against Illegal Detention

The Situation: In 2011, an organization decided to bring legal action against the government’s illegal detention and mistreatment of seven undocumented women migrant sex workers. The women had been detained for eight months and denied medical care, contact with their family, translation services, and independent legal representation. One of the women was pregnant and gave birth in detention. The police and authorities forced the women to falsely testify in a trafficking case, though the women assert that they had not been trafficked.

The Rapid Response: The organization used Urgent Action Fund support for translation services and living costs of the seven women as they pursue their case against the authorities. The organization aims to demand the women’s immediate release from detention and seek redress from state authorities, in order to highlight concrete changes necessary to the government’s human trafficking suppression policy.

The Impact: This will be the first case of sex workers suing the police and government in this Southeast Asian country and has the potential to change issues faced by migrant and sex worker women.