Pro Bono News

New Perimeter and US State Department Announce Partnership to Combat Human Trafficking

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Perimeter, DLA Piper’s non-profit affiliate dedicated exclusively to global pro bono work, and the US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on initiatives to fight human trafficking. The partnership was announced on April 9, 2013 at the White House Forum to Combat Human Trafficking, which brought together senior administration officials, nonprofit and business leaders, researchers, academics, leaders in the technology community and law enforcement. Speakers included Attorney General Eric Holder; Todd Park, United States Chief Technology Officer; Tina Tchen, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls (CWG); Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and Chair of the CWG; Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; and Ambassador Luis CdeBaca of the TIP Office.

The forum was attended by leaders of DLA Piper’s pro bono program, including Elizabeth Dewey, director of New Perimeter and US pro bono partner, and Kristen Abrams, international pro bono counsel and New Perimeter program manager, as well as Rusty Conner, Washington, DC, office managing partner. “This partnership is an ideal fit with New Perimeter’s mission to provide pro bono support for critical issues impacting people across the globe,” Dewey said. “We are honored to collaborate with the TIP Office and look forward to working together to combat human trafficking.” With a common goal of increasing access to anti-trafficking legal services across the globe and strengthening the responses within the 3P framework of prosecuting traffickers, protecting and rehabilitating survivors, and preventing victimization, New Perimeter and the TIP Office will explore collaborating on various initiatives including:

  • Providing training to judges and prosecutors on issues involved in handling trafficking cases
  • Training local lawyers on representing trafficking victims and providing pro bono legal services to victims
  • Providing assistance with drafting proposed new legislation and implementing regulations

“Human trafficking is one of the greatest human rights tragedies of our time and, as a global law firm with the resources to provide pro bono support to combat this practice across the globe, we were thrilled at the opportunity to join forces with the State Department,” Abrams added. This new partnership follows on the heels of several projects that New Perimeter has undertaken to address global human rights abuses.

For instance, New Perimeter has been involved in a significant initiative with AIDS-Free World since 2008 to document, publicize and combat politically-motivated human rights abuses against Zimbabwean women. Through interviews with Zimbabwean women who were victims of sexual violence surrounding the 2008 presidential elections, New Perimeter assisted in the development of a report, which led to a groundbreaking decision in February 2013 from South Africa’s Police Service and National Prosecuting Authority to investigate crimes against humanity in Zimbabwe.

About the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

The Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, directed by Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, leads the United States’ global engagement against human trafficking, an umbrella term used to describe the activities involved when someone obtains or holds a person in compelled service. At the heart of this phenomenon are the myriad forms of enslavement as outlined in the United States' Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The TIP Office has responsibility for bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, targeted foreign assistance, and public engagement on this issue of modern slavery and partners with foreign governments and civil society to develop and implement effective counter-trafficking strategies.

About New Perimeter (

Founded in 2005, New Perimeter is a non-profit organization established by global law firm DLA Piper to provide pro bono legal assistance primarily in developing and post-conflict regions. Its mission is to provide long-term, high-impact pro bono legal support to qualifying non-profit organizations, governments and academic institutions. New Perimeter draws on the skills and talents of more than 4,200 DLA Piper lawyers globally and focuses on projects in such areas as legal education, women and children’s rights, access to justice and law reform, environmental protection, economic development and food security. About DLA Piper ( DLA Piper is a global law firm with 4,200 lawyers located in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, positioning it to help companies with their legal needs anywhere in the world. In certain jurisdictions, this information may be considered attorney advertising.