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Representative Press Article Summaries

Human Trafficking
Chesterfield Observer
Nov. 15, 2007

Human Trafficking will be the topic of discussion at the meeting of the Huguenot Republican Women's Club. Speakers will include Lisa T Johnson-Firth, a consultant and attorney specializing in trafficking issues and human rights. Dinner at Dena's Restaurant on Mall Drive (across from Chesterfield Towne Center) begins at 6:30 p.m. Speakers begin at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Bethany College Celebrates Women’s History Month
Bethany, W.Va.
March 2007

Take Back the Night," will be held on Wednesday March 28 at 7:00 p.m. at the outdoor classroom. Human Rights Lawyer, Lisa Johnson-Firth, will speak on women's rights. Firth serves as the campaign coordinator for Amnesty International's Stop Violence Against Women.

Human Rights Lawyer Will Speak on "Modern Day Slavery:
Trafficking in Women" at University of Richmond

February 9, 2006

Lisa Johnson-Firth, a lawyer who consults on human rights issues and handles cases, will lead a discussion on “Modern Day Slavery: Trafficking in Women” Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at University of Richmond’s Jepson Hall, room 118.

The presentation will include a short film and is open to the public at no charge. It is being sponsored by Amnesty International Local Group 134, the University of Richmond Student Chapter of Amnesty International and Women Involved in Living and Learning (WILL). Johnson-Firth is Amnesty International’s Stop Violence Against Women campaign coordinator for Virginia.

AIDS is focus of human-rights violations exposure
The Daily Colonial
December 4, 2004

The focus of the panel declared the interaction between HIV/AIDS and violence against women indeed an enormous human rights violation that should not be ignored.

Lisa Johnson-Firth, the Amnesty Stop Violence Against Women coordinator for Virginia, served as mediator for the panel.

Refugee Reports
IOM Panel Examines the Experiences of Female Migrants
June 30, 2003

Lisa Johnson-Firth discussed the mission and work of her organization to provide direct services and advocacy support to exploited and enslaved domestic workers from Asia, Africa and Latin America who worked in the Washington, DC area. She said that many of her clients work for employees of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, various embassies and other international organizations. A significant number enter the United States on A-3 visas (hired by diplomats), G-5 visas (hired by international organizations) or B-1 visas (hired by other foreigners or US citizens).

Because an immigrant’s status is tied to the employer through the visa, there is a strong dependent relationship of the immigrant on the employer making the immigrant particularly vulnerable to abuse, Johnson-Firth said. Employers seem to have an abuse hand book that includes the threat of dismissal and deportation to control their domestic workers. To minimize the leverage of employers over immigrant domestic workers, Johnson-Firth recommend the following: increased public awareness of the issue, legal reform supporting immigrant domestic workers, and increased funding for legal and social service providers assisting immigrant domestic workers.

Maids, Slaves, and Prisoners:
To be employed in a Saudi home - forced servitude of women in Saudi Arabia and in homes of Saudis in US
National Review
February 24, 2003

A compelling review of horror stories of immigrant women domestic workers in the homes of Saudi employers based in the United States. But, the Department of Justice has shown a willingness to combat the abuse of domestic workers. “The DOJ has been very supportive on the cases where we've worked with them,” notes attorney Lisa Johnson-Firth, who has helped many migrant domestic workers fleeing servitude.

I want to be treated like a human being
Boston Globe
April 15, 2001

Fleeing abuse to save herself and her children, Meral, a 22 year old Turkish woman, is seeking asylum to save the life of herself and her children from her abusive husband and his family. When she appears before a judge in Boston later this week, Meral may seem like so many other women who seek custody of their children and divorces for themselves because of alleged abuse by their husbands.

While much of her story will sound chillingly familiar, however, Meral is anything but typical. She has become the central player in an international legal drama that could reshape US immigration policy toward women all over the world.

"It's very much a test case. It will be precedent-setting and will affect a lot of people in the future," says Lisa Johnson-Firth, a lawyer representing Meral.

Meral’s political asylum claim is based upon the domestic violence she suffered from her husband and her fear that she will be killed in an honor killing if she is forced to return to Turkey. The case makes the claim that the very culture of the country from which she is seeking asylum is abusive toward women. And her case comes just as asylum policy on that score is being reshaped in Washington. Meral, says simply, "I want to be treated as a human and I'm afraid, if I have to go home, it will not happen for me, or for my girl as she gets older."