On November 13, Domestic Workers United (DWU) presented NYU Law’s Immigrant Rights Clinic (IRC) with the Advocate of the Decade Award. With many IRC alumni and students in attendance, the honor was accepted by Alina Das '05, who co-teaches the clinic with Professor Nancy Morawetz '81.

DWU is a group of Caribbean, Latina, and African nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers in New York that organizes for power, respect, fair labor standards, and to help build a movement to end exploitation and oppression. Since DWU’s inception in 2000, IRC has represented the group in various aspects of their legislative advocacy campaigns, including DWU’s successful effort before the New York City Counsel to pass a law requiring businesses that refer domestic workers for jobs comply with established labor standards. More recently, IRC assisted in DWU’s campaign before the New York State legislature to enact the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, the first law in the country recognizing basic work standards and labor protections for domestic workers. The bill was signed by then-Governor David Patterson on August 31, 2010, and will go into effect on November 29th.

“We are extremely humbled and honored to receive this award,” Das told the audience gathered for DWU’s 10-year anniversary gala. “Our clinic and DWU were born around the same time, over a decade ago…. Given everything that has happened in those last ten years, it makes it all the more remarkable that we are standing here on stage today, celebrating DWU’s remarkable achievement of passing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.”

Posted November 19, 2010