FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2023
Contact: Francisco Díaz Pinelo firstname.lastname@example.org
Centro de los Derechos del Migrante receives the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Washington D.C., Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM), a Baltimore-based migrant workers’ rights organization, received the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons today at the White House. The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken presented the award to Rachel Micah-Jones, CDM’s Founder and Executive Director, during a cabinet-level meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF). Rachel was accompanied to the ceremony by CDM Board President Cori Alonso-Yoder.
Established in the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008, the award recognizes individuals and organizations for extraordinary efforts in the fight against human trafficking. CDM receives this recognition on behalf of President Biden “for its outstanding record of assisting thousands of migrant workers to defend their rights and its years of tireless advocacy and organizing to advance a more just and humane migration process free of forced labor and other forms of exploitation,” as stated in the award citation.
“CDM is honored to receive the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons. We are proud to be recognized for our role in the collective effort to prevent and end forced labor and human trafficking,” said Rachel Micah-Jones, CDM’s Founder and Executive Director. “We’ll continue to uplift migrant worker voices and support them in their fight for justice by holding accountable individuals and corporations who benefit from these abuses.”
Structural flaws built into the temporary visa programs – such as deep power imbalances between employers and workers – put migrant workers at risk for abuse, including wage theft, discrimination, forced labor and human trafficking.
In its 2020 report “Ripe for Reform,” CDM found that many of the H-2A workers surveyed experienced indicators of labor trafficking while working in the United States. Thirty-four percent of those interviewed described restrictions on their movement, such as not being permitted to leave the employer-provided housing or worksite. Employers seized the passports of 7% of workers. And 32% of those surveyed described themselves as not feeling free to quit.
Founded in 2005 in Zacatecas, México, CDM has fought alongside migrant worker leaders to ensure that migrant worker rights are respected and laws and policies reflect their voices and experiences. The organization also provides legal services to hundreds of migrant workers throughout the U.S. and Mexico each year. CDM is actively litigating cases on behalf of trafficking survivors from Baltimore to San Diego.
For more information, please visit www.cdmigrante.org or contact CDM at email@example.com.