7BR will be joining thousands of other walkers on Monday 21 May to take part in the London Legal Walk. We are raising funds for the London Legal Support Trust and the Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit (ATLEU).

The Legal Support Trust funds Law Centres and pro bono agencies in and around London by providing them with grant funding alongside other forms of support. They do this by holding large fundraising events, most notably the London Legal Walk, and then deliver the funds raised to the agencies where they are most needed through grant rounds.

In an increasingly difficult environment, ATLEU are fighting to make sure that victims can access the justice that they deserve and that victims’ experiences are at the heart of the government’s decision making.

They are also fighting the restriction that limits compensation claims to two years of National Minimum Wage owed. This limit has a massive impact on victims, many of whom have been exploited for far longer than two years, allowing their traffickers to escape justice.

The past year has also seen some huge successes for ATLEU:

  • The Supreme Court ruled that embassies and diplomats were no longer exempt from claims from their domestic workers
  • They launched ATHUB, the new online training resource for professionals working with victims of trafficking
  • They successfully secured a change to the new legal aid contract which will allow providers to advise up to 100 victims each year about bringing a compensation claim against their traffickers.

Case study

Over the last seven years we have had the huge privilege of representing Ms Cherrylyn Reyes, a Filipina national, in relation to a claim she brought against her Saudi diplomat employer.

Ms Reyes claimed that her employers trafficked her to the UK and exploited her in domestic servitude. When, after leaving her employment in 2011, she tried to recover her unpaid wages in the employment tribunal, her employers claimed that diplomatic immunity stopped her claim from continuing.

We represented Ms Reyes in her claim all the way to the Supreme Court. In a unanimous judgment handed down in October 2017, the Supreme Court found that domestic workers can bring claims against diplomat employers, and that their claims can be heard once the diplomat has left the post.

The case is a major breakthrough. The first of its kind internationally, we hope that this will make a huge difference to the treatment of workers employed by diplomats both in the UK and around the world.

You can sponsor our team here and follow our progress on the day on our Twitter account.


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