Transformative change for the Thai community

Dear Friends,

On August 2, 2023, we joined community organizations and leaders in the historic grand opening of the first Thai Workers’ Center in Los Angeles, organized by the Thai Community Development Center (Thai CDC) and with support from the California Community Foundation and Liberty Hill Foundation. The establishment of the Thai Workers’ Center coincides with the 28th anniversary of the landmark El Monte Thai Garment Slavery case, considered the first recognized case of modern-day slavery in the nation. It led to the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000— the first comprehensive federal law addressing the heinous crime of human trafficking.

Events like El Monte, where 72 Thai workers were held captive in extreme working conditions in an underground garment factory, are not isolated incidents. Modern-day slavery continues to impoverish and exploit vulnerable populations through unjust workplace practices of wage theft, human rights and labor violations. The Thai Workers’ Center will serve as a dedicated space where Thai workers can learn about labor rights, find solidarity in each other, and organize, mobilize, and lead a movement to fight wage theft and demand justice from their employers.