Go On! How Do I Become an International Lawyer?

Go On! makes note of interesting conferences, lectures, and similar events.

The Irish Yearbook of International Law announced open registration for a career panel via Zoom on International Law careers. The event is aimed at law students in Ireland, but will also cover topics of interest to an international audience, including LLMs and internships. The panel of established professionals will share their experiences of building a career in International Law and will also answer any questions from aspiring international lawyers. Careers Panel for Aspiring International Lawyers will be held on June 23, at 14:00, Dublin time.

For more information and to register please click here.

Go On! Minerva Law Network’s “Women and the International Law Commission”

Join Minerva Law Network’s online event on June 30, 2021 at 11:00AM (CET). In this session, all of the current and former women of the International Law Commission will discuss their experiences in the Commission and their work on the progressive development of international law and its codification.

To register for this event, click here.

Congratulations!

We would like to acknowledge a transition amongst our editorial team. Our Submissions Editor, Carly Wheaton, has graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and will be moving on to the next chapter in her life as a lawyer in New York City. Carly has worked on our editorial team for the past two years and received the Jacob Burns Medal from her law school in recognition of her work on the blog. We thank her for her contributions to IntLawGrrls and wish her the best of luck with her future.

Prerna Tara, who has been a Student Editor for the last year, will be assuming the role of Submissions Editor. She has been a great asset to IntLawGrrls and we are excited to continue working with her. Prerna has graduated with her Masters degree in Public International Law from Leiden Law School in The Netherlands. Congratulations to you both!

On the Job! Asser Institute for International and European Law Vacancies

The Asser Institute for International and European Law has two paid internship vacancies.

One is in private international law and the intern will research projects, draft reports, edit tasks, and update case law. The deadline is June 10th.

The other is in EU external relations law. The intern will have the opportunity to contribute to research and the publication of projects of the Global Europe project and the Center for the Law of EU External Relations. The deadline is June 15th.

Write On! Trade, Law and Development Journal

This installment of Write On!, our periodic compilation of calls for papers, includes calls to submit unpublished manuscripts for publication in the Winter ’21 Issue of the Trade, Law and Development Journal as follows:

The Trade, Law and Development Journal is a bi-annual, student-run academic journal published by the National Law University in Jodhpur, India and has been consistently recognized across the world for its achievements in law academia. The philosophy of the journal is to generate and sustain a constructive and democratic debate on emergent issues in international economic law and to serve as a forum for the discussion and distribution of ideas. Manuscripts in the form of articles, notes, comments and book reviews pertaining to any area within the purview of international economic law will be reviewed for publication in the Winter ’21 Issue.

Manuscripts must be submitted by August 1, 2021. For more information about the Journal, please click here. For submission guidelines, please click here.

Migrant Worker Women Advancing Gender Equity through the USMCA

Men only, 1835 years old. 

In 2021, seeing a job posting with those words is startling. Shocking even. But more than a year into a world-changing pandemic that has pushed millions of women out of paid work, U.S. employers continue to discriminate against women, posting ads like that one. To evade legal consequences, U.S. businesses discriminate in Mexico, hiring men to work in the United States with temporary H-2 guestworker visas while turning women away. Other U.S. businesses discriminate by hiring women but channeling them into lower-paying jobs with poorer conditions than those they hire men for. Although the U.S. government knows that H-2 employers discriminate against women, it has done little to stop them. 

For more than fifteen years, since I founded Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM)—the first transnational workers’ rights organization based in Mexico and the United States—I have heard from women in Mexico about patterns of abuse in the U.S. H-2 programs. Migrant women have courageously spoken out about blatant discrimination in H-2 recruitment and hiring, sexual harassment and other violence against women at work, unfair pay, and unlawful working conditions. Women report discrimination in industries ranging from Maryland’s blue crab processors to fruit and vegetable sorting. Sex discrimination persists in H-2 labor supply chains even though U.S. law prohibits employers and labor recruiters from discriminating against women. Laws prohibiting discrimination protect all women who work in the United States, even if businesses hire them outside of the country.

Today, migrant women continue the fight for gender justice. In March, in honor of Women’s History Month, CDM and workers’ rights organizations across North America joined migrant women in filing the first viable state-to-state complaint under the new United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA). The USMCA’s labor chapter, Article 23, requires the United States to enforce its anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In failing to root out discrimination in H-2 recruiting, hiring, and employment and neglecting to ensure gender equity in the program, the United States is violating Article 23. 

In the complaint, we collectively make three demands:

  1. The U.S. government must end sex discrimination in the H-2 guestworker programs once and for all.
  2. The government must ensure that all workers have access to Legal Services Corporation-funded civil legal services. (Without lawyers working in solidarity with them, it is nearly impossible for migrant women to access justice through U.S. courts.)
  3. The government must investigate discrimination complaints from women in the H-2 program under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, rather than ignoring or summarily dismissing them.

And to increase pressure on the Administration, we are filing a supplemental complaint with Professor Sarah Paoletti, a Practice Professor of Law and the Director of the Transnational Legal Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. The supplement will address the U.S. government’s obligations under the ILO and international human rights law to end discrimination in the H-2 program.

We have reasons to be hopeful that the USMCA can serve as a tool to improve access to transnational justice for migrant workers. Unlike NAFTA—the old trade agreement with its toothless labor side accord—the USMCA has a mechanism for migrant workers and their advocates to push governments to comply with labor and employment laws—or face sanctions. Concretely, this means that the U.S. government may face sanctions if it maintains the status quo and ignores the grave abuses that the petitioners report in the H-2 program. It means that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must end its practice of failing to investigate and meaningfully respond to migrant women’s discrimination complaints. And it means that the U.S. Departments of Labor and Homeland Security must stop allowing H-2 employers to discriminate without consequences. In receiving and reviewing our petition, the governments are legally responsible for showing us that they meant what they said about protecting migrant workers’ and women’s rights when they signed the agreement. 

The historic process for the migrant women petitioners began in Mexico, where we filed the USMCA complaint with the Mexican government. Mexico formally accepted the complaint and is now investigating discrimination and other abuses in the agricultural and protein processing industries, the industries in which the petitioners work. Earlier this month, Mexico asked the United States to honor its obligations under the USMCA and invited cooperation in doing so. And now the Biden-Harris Administration has the opportunity to make good on the promise of the USMCA and proactively address the urgent issues we raise in the complaint.

For too long, U.S. businesses have used the H-2 programs to bypass our civil rights and labor laws. Left without government oversight, H-2 employers have enacted their sexist, racist, and ageist ideas about the kinds of workers who maximize profitability. Sex discrimination in the H-2 program harms not only migrant women from Mexico but also U.S.-based workers. 

Over the next year, as we rebuild the U.S. economy for a sustainable and equitable recovery, justice for migrant women must be at the fore of the government’s labor and employment policies and practices. And next Women’s History Month, we look forward to celebrating meaningful, sustainable reforms in the H-2 program that will end discrimination against migrant women and promote access to justice. 

We would be grateful for your support in standing with migrant worker women to fight against discrimination. Please email me (rachel@cdmigrante.org) to join the supplemental complaint on the U.S. government’s obligations under the ILO or to submit an amicus in support of migrant worker women. 

Introducing Rachel Micah-Jones

It is our great pleasure to introduce our new IntLawGrrls contributor, Rachel Micah-Jones.

Rachel is an attorney and the Founder and Executive Director of Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc., the first transnational migrant rights organization based in Mexico and the United States. Rachel focuses on reforming labor migration programs to protect low-wage workers’ human rights and brings workers’ voices, perspectives, and proposals to policy debates. She co-founded and chairs Migration that Works, a coalition on recruitment reform; has advocated for workers’ rights in strategic litigation against US government agencies and employers; and has testified before international organizations, in US Congressional briefings, and before the Mexican Congress. Rachel’s writing on transnational migrant justice and clinical legal education has been published by the The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where she co-led an international clinic for law students. Rachel graduated from Georgetown University and American University Washington College of Law.

Heartfelt welcome!

Write On! Abstracts on Gender, Peace, Education and International Law

This installment of Write On!, our periodic compilation of calls for papers, includes calls to submit abstracts to be presented at the Symposium on Gender, Peace, Education and International Law, which forms part of the European Research Council funded project, Gendered Peace.

The project, led by Professor Christine Chinkin, takes an interdisciplinary approach to provide new understandings of the spectrum of peace and conflict, while centering a gender analysis. Papers can address peace, education, gender and international law or only touch on a combination of two or three, but adopting a feminist approach. Participants should think of the linkages between these complex and nuanced areas and consider what might flow from making such linkages. The conference will be held during the week of October 25th 2021. Abstracts are due by June 18, 2021.

For more information on the conference, questions for discussion, and submission instructions please click here.

Write On! Second Edition of the Global Jurist Award in International Economic Law

This installment of Write On!, our periodic compilation of calls for papers, includes calls to submit legal essays entitled: “2030: A New Horizon for International Economic Law?” as follows:

The Law Schools of the Universidad Externado (Columbia), the Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain), and the Latin American Network of International Economic Law are presenting the Second Edition of the Global Jurist Award. Taking the year 2030 as the goal line, the Second Edition of the Global Jurist Award will recognize the author(s) who make(s) accurate assessments about present International Economic Law and who also offer(s) lucid proposals on how International Economic Law’s changes during the current decade should be implemented. The call for essays closes the night of November 15, 2021 and the winner(s) will be announced on December 15, 2021.

For more information on the rules of style and how to submit papers, please click here.

On the Job! Legal Officer: Reparation Human Rights Sanctions

On the Job! compiles interesting vacancy notices, as follows:

Applications are welcome for the position of a Legal Officer for the Human Rights Sanctions Project with REDRESS, a human rights organizations based in London, England. The position is based in London and is for a 2-year contract, subject to confirmation of funding.  The holder of this position would be responsible for seeking new designations under the UK human rights sanctions regime by drafting case files on key international human rights violations, supporting partner NGOs across the world to engage with the UK’s human rights sanctions regime, and working with REDRESS’s communications team to support advocacy through public campaigning.

The deadline to apply is June 1, 2021. For more information please click here.