Sharing evidence-collection strategies with caseworkers at HOME

Many cases are won on the strength of the evidence presented to an opponent, even before going to court. But collecting evidence for a migrant worker client can be challenging: often, they do not have copies of their own employment contracts or were abused or pressured behind closed doors. Some may not even know the full names of their employers. Caseworkers at front-line organisations like the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME) work tirelessly to collect such evidence for their clients, but they face many challenges along the way.

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JWB Boardmember Felicia Ong (centre) discusses with HOME staff the types of evidence most important for civil litigation–and how much is enough to start a claim.

In March, JWB conducted an evidence workshop at HOME’s office to discuss the strategies in evidence collection for legal claims, particularly for those who must return home before they can finish their case. Our aim: to share the lawyer’s perspective on what evidence to look out for and to improve the migrant workers’ chances of success, either at negotiation or ultimately in court.

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Senior HOME staff Jevon Ng and Jolovan Wham discuss challenges and opportunities in evidence collection for domestic worker cases.

Attended by full-time staff and dedicated volunteers of HOME, the workshop was a springboard to a fruitful exchange of expertise. As JWB staff led the session with strategies for evidence collection with an eye towards cross-border claims, HOME caseworkers supplemented with their own experience on the ground. Together, the two staffs covered the collection of employment contracts, agency fee agreements, medical and police reports, bank statements, and even CCTV footage. JWB staff identified the various agencies and parties from whom such evidence could be sought, paying special attention where the workers have a legal right to access the information. At the same time, JWB also brainstormed workable solutions to the difficulties that caseworkers face when collecting evidence.

 

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HOME senior case manager Sisi Sukiato describes the most common types of claims that HOME’s domestic worker clients have.

As the workshop drew to an end, JWB and HOME looked forward to further collaboration. We welcomed HOME to continue referring cross-border compensation cases to JWB, as they have done before. Copies of JWB’s Practitioners Manual were also distributed. A copy of JWB’s Practitioners Manual can be downloaded here: .

We are excited about how HOME will put the new tools we shared into action, and would like to thank HOME for their warm and positive response to our first evidence training workshop.