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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.
Highlighting New Issues in Ending Violence Against Women; More Women Afraid To Come Forward And Access Services
February 9, 2011 - Congressional leaders will participate in ad-hoc hearing examining violence against immigrant women this Thursday on Capitol Hill. By Tiffany Williams
Silencing Human Trafficking Victims in America
February 7, 2011 - Women should be able to access victim services, regardless of their immigration status. By Tiffany Williams, published in The Huffington Post and The Mountain Mail (Salida, CO)
Raise the Minimum Wage
November 22, 2010 - Boosting it would help our lowest-paid workers as well as the entire economy. By Tiffany Williams, published in Common Dreams and The Richmond (KY) Register
Valuing Domestic Work
November 1, 2010 - A look at the history and future of household work in the United States from a gender justice and worker rights perspective. By Premilla Nadasen and Tiffany Williams
Bringing a Human Focus to the Immigration Debate
July 22, 2010 - What's missed in discussing immigration reform is the impact current laws have on lives and families. By Emma Boorboor