Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Kaew's Path to Justice

Kaew is one of the Thai garment workers who arrived in the U.S. with dreams of new opportunities. In Thailand, Kaew, her parents, and three younger brothers shared a one room house with her grandmother in the rural, northeast province of Chaiyaphum. Her position as eldest daughter carried with it the responsibility to care for the rest of the family. After assisting her parents with farm work, Kaew began working outside the home at age 16 and went to Bangkok to find work.  When she was 18 years old, she began sewing garments in a factory in the Thai capital.

Watch an animated video depicting the workers’ story here.

In August 2008, Kaew was interviewed for a front page Los Angeles Times article titled, “Home of the Freed.” The article celebrated dozens of the Thai workers becoming United States citizens. Thirteen years after their harrowing ordeal was exposed and captured international attention, Kaew and her friends celebrated their journey at the annual Freedom Celebration hosted by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and marked this special year with a citizenship ceremony.  Surrounded by family and friends, including many volunteers who had reached out to them when their case began in 1995, the Thai workers were given American flags and hugged each other.  Their story is part of a long history of individuals and communities who have fought for citizenship and belonging in a country marked by slavery and exclusion as well as opportunity and shelter.  Excerpt from Untold Civil Rights Stories: Asian Americans Speak Out for Justice

For Legal Help

Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356
도움이 필요하십니까?: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583


Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.