Partnering with Justice Without Borders

20 Feb 2019

Over the past two years, a cross border team in the Hong Kong and Singapore offices of international law firm Simmons & Simmons has been working on a pro bono basis with Justice Without Borders (JWB), a unique non-profit organisation that enables migrant workers to seek rightful compensation for exploitation or abuse even after they have returned to their home jurisdictions. The firm has worked with JWB in two key respects:

  1. Through case work to assist individual domestic workers with their claims for compensation;
  2. By undertaking a strategic research project on the best legal arguments to support domestic workers claiming damages for physical and sexual abuse. The outcomes of this project include the production of strategy guides for Hong Kong and Singapore. We also co-hosted legal training workshops in our Hong Kong and Singapore offices in January 2019.

This important work has seen 25 lawyers, paralegals and trainees in Hong Kong and Singapore work with JWB. In this video, the Simmons & Simmons team and JWB discuss the important nature of the work being done to support victims as well as the empowering nature of the partnership itself.

Douglas MacLean, Executive Director of Justice Without Borders said: “Countless migrant worker victims return home without compensation for the violations they suffered. With partners like Simmons & Simmons, we can assist migrant worker victims in accessing justice through cross-border civil claims. Simmons & Simmons has been a key partner in representing clients in groundbreaking test cases and conducting innovative legal research to facilitate successful claims.”

Commenting on this work, Wendy Wong, Supervising Associate added: “Collaborating with JWB in its campaign to address the rights and welfare of domestic workers in Hong Kong was a rewarding experience. We are committed to helping domestic workers who are victims of abuse and maltreatment to seek compensation, and, more importantly, to raise the community’s awareness of these issues. Working with JWB also provided us with exposure to new perspectives on social and other issues remote from our personal experience, which would make each of us a better lawyer and person.”

Watch the full video here.

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