Crime & Legal
Immigrants, Newcomers, Refuges
"Without ALIGHT's work, I wouldn't have the opportunity to represent survivors." - Attorney in ALIGHT mobilized legal network
The ALIGHT Legal Needs Matching Program connects the children, women, and men who survived human trafficking to free legal help at a critical point in their recovery.
To help survivors finally escape the exploitation cycle, ALIGHT matches them to the right attorney at the right time from the ALIGHT mobilized army of pro bono attorneys. With critical legal services and a survivor-centric approach, survivors can overcome legal problems that are insurmountable alone, enabling them to successfully gain independence and rebuild their lives in our community.
By deploying a technology platform that bridges the different worlds of the human trafficking survivor, the victim services community, and the legal bar to match survivor requests for legal help (posted by their advocates) to specialized legal expertise.
Survivors are equipped to achieve justice on their own terms - whether resolving child custody, criminal records or identity theft - and have a path out of the violence and vulnerability that entraps them.
ALIGHT sees growing needs for the free counsel and representation offered through our Program, with many requests to deal with trafficking-related legal needs that have included: child custody and visitation, harassment, criminal defense, intellectual property, tenant's rights, and consumer debt. ALIGHT seeks to grow our geographic reach and overall capacity as more survivors come for help from different corners of Colorado, as well as from other states such as North Dakota, California, and Florida.
Since launching in 2017, ALIGHT's Legal Needs Matching Program has been building steam and doubling impact every year. Working on a complex and sensitive issue such as human trafficking, we have found that this sector is chronically under-resourced. It is therefore very exciting to be able to report the results of ALIGHT's grassroots efforts as of June 30, 2019 (we note data may change as more information is provided to ALIGHT).
- 55 unique survivors and their families were connected to free legal services
- specialized attorneys provided services on 79 separate legal request
- over $150,000 in legal services were provided to survivors
- 52% of connections between survivors and attorneys were made within 1 day
- 95% of survivor requests - across a wide range of issues - from child custody to bankruptcy and criminal records - were connected to specific attorneys
ALIGHT received the following feedback from participants in the program:
- One service provider participant shared: "[w]e have seen survivors empowered and equipped to continue taking back control over their lives and laying a foundation upon which bright futures are currently being built!"
- 100% of respondents strongly agreed that "the ALIGHT program offers an important service for trafficking survivors"
- 100% of respondents strongly agreed that "I am likely to recommend the ALIGHT program" to a survivor, another service provider or another attorney.
Crime & Legal
Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender
Since inception, ALIGHT has focused on bringing new resources and advocates into the anti-trafficking movement. To this end, ALIGHT conducts trainings for attorneys, professionals, and the general public. ALIGHT's trainings provide guidance on identifying and reporting a potential trafficking situation, and to spot potential legal needs and remedies for trafficking survivors.
In addition, ALIGHT has created resource materials specifically for attorneys who want to assist trafficking survivors, and for service providers who may be interacting with human trafficking survivors but are not yet screening, identifying, and connecting them with trafficking-specific resources.
To date, ALIGHT has trained and presented to thousands of individuals, including attorneys, law students, victim services providers, anti-trafficking advocates, prosecutors, and members of the general public.
In 2019, ALIGHT has provided training to the following organizations:
- American Bar Association
- Colorado Prosecutors Human Trafficking Symposium
- Colorado Western Slope Anti-Trafficking Summit
- Colorado Women's Bar Association
- Larimer Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Task Force
Participants in past trainings have noted the following about their new learnings:
- "I would recommend this training to others who may be working with trafficking survivors."
- "The information provided at this training increased my ability to work with, or on behalf of, human trafficking survivors."
- "There are legal resources available to help folks who are feeling alone and the things they are dealing with might actually be legal needs."
- "This presentation helped me to better acknowledge the red flags of human trafficking victims vs domestic violence victims."
Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy
In today's day and age, it is easy for traffickers to use their mobile phones and other technologies to groom, recruit, and control their victims. To combat these injustices and harness the benefits of technology for creative and impactful solutions, ALIGHT is collaborating with other experts in this area, including survivor leaders. Innovative and efficient ways of engaging attorneys to support human trafficking survivors are desperately needed. Through engagement with anti-trafficking advocates in Colorado, across the US, and around the world, ALIGHT is identifying the opportunities, and challenges of using technology to create new opportunities for justice.
ALIGHT has been invited to share its experiences and collaborate with anti-trafficking advocates to discuss emerging issues on the local, national, and international levels, including:
- Princeton Center for Information Technology and Policy on ethical IT design addressing at-risk groups,
- United Nations Commission on the Status of Women on solutions to end human trafficking,
- 2018 Denver Startup Week "Tech for Good" Headline Event, and
- U.S. State Department International Visitors Leadership Program for more than 46 anti-trafficking leaders and foreign delegates from 41 countries through the U.S.