CDM conducts participatory educational workshops with workers in Mexico in communities with areas from which many travel to work in the United States. We prevent workplace abuses by conducting “know your rights” trainings with migrant workers before they depart, in an environment in which they feel comfortable speaking openly. Our workshops cover not only wage laws, health and safety regulations, and risk prevention, but also the current political context and policy developments pertaining to labor migration programs. Armed with this knowledge, migrant workers embark with the confidence they need to defend their workplace rights.
Some migrant workers face unique problems in securing their rights and well-being. Through the Proyecto de Mujeres Migrantes (ProMuMi or Migrant Women’s Project), CDM holds meetings with women workers, focusing on sexual assault in the workplace, gender discrimination, pregnancy, and equal pay. CDM’s multilingual staff also conduct workshops with indigenous migrants in the Mixteca region to provide Mixtec-language materials and information about U.S. workplace rights. And we regularly visit workers in communities that have many members cross the border to work in a specific industry, such as fairs and carnivals, providing targeted information about systemic abuses.
Comité de Defensa del Migrante
Founded in 2006, the Comité de Defensa del Migrante (Migrant Defense Committee or Comité) is a group of community-based leaders who organize and empower migrant workers to defend themselves and educate their co-workers. Comprised of migrants and ex-migrants, who are a mix of H-2B, H-2A and unauthorized workers, and their family members, the Comité forms a human chain across Mexico and the United States. The Comité’s objectives are to become a permanent presence in workers’ communities—both at home in Mexico and at work in the United States—and act as migrant rights’ advocates. Comité leaders train other migrants in human rights, building a culture of informed migrants to protect workers’ rights all along the migrant stream. Through investment in education and leadership development, Comité members will empower thousands of workers in Mexico and the United States to take proactive approaches to ending workplace abuses.