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The Institute Policy Studies started Break the Chain Campaign (BTCC) in 1997 after an expose in the Washington City Paper by IPS Fellow Martha Honey (entitled "Capital Slaves"), which chronicled the lives of women living in virtual slavery while working as domestic servants for officials of the World Bank and other international agencies.
Upon discovering the extent of exploitation of migrant women workers in the D.C. metropolitan area, the BTCC project expanded beyond reporting to better serve and empower these women. The project has provided legal, moral, economic and other support for hundreds of these migrant domestic workers, from dozens of countries, for over a decade. The project also helped raise awareness of the problem of exploitation of domestic workers in the World Bank and other agencies, and was a key advocate for new policies in these agencies.
Today, the project is a leader in the Freedom Network – a national network of anti-trafficking organizations, which greatly contributed to the creation of current legislation protecting the rights of victims of human trafficking, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and its reauthorization in 2008. We are also a key partner with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, bringing the domestic worker rights lens to trafficking work, and vice versa.
Currently, we focus on research, writing, policy advocacy, and training, all based on our 14 years of direct service experience and our commitment to a rights-based approach.
The New Caregiving Movement
July 4, 2011 - With Medicare and Medicaid on the chopping block at the state and federal levels, the crisis for seniors and people with disabilities is becoming as urgent as the crisis facing the workers who are caring for them. By Tiffany Williams, published in The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) and The Morris (MN) Sun Tribune
Domestic Worker Rights Movement Gains Traction in California and Geneva
June 8, 2011 - A new ILO convention that may get approved this month would provide minimum protections for domestic workers around the world. By Tiffany Williams
What about the Woman Strauss-Kahn Allegedly Assaulted?
May 17, 2011 - She deserves compassion as the global punditocracy conjectures about what's going happen to the IMF without that French "rockstar" at its helm. By Tiffany Williams
What Mom Really Wants this Mother's Day
May 5, 2011 - Instead of a bouquet or greeting card, she'd really appreciate a new respect for the value of care, in all its forms, and a new vision for what we deserve as Americans when it comes to giving and receiving care. By Tiffany Williams
Wisconsin Union Struggle Is All Too Familiar for Excluded Workers
March 10, 2011 - Rather than race to the bottom, where no one has rights, why shouldn't we work together to ensure that everyone does? By Erica Smiley and Tiffany Williams