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Red T...

is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that strives, through voluntary action, to establish translators and interpreters as a global, impartial, and protected community and to safeguard all members of the profession.

Local interpreters allied with foreign troops mask their faces in fear of retaliation from insurgents. Photo by James Lee.

The United States has joined nations such as China and Turkey in imprisoning translators and interpreters for content - in other words, for doing their job. Drawing by Christine Cornell.

Afghan and Iraqi interpreters are endangered due to their affiliation with foreign troops. Protective asylum is the only guarantee of their safety.

Historically subject to suspicion, post-9/11 translators and interpreters are increasingly labeled spies and terrorist agents. Photo credit: eo was taken

What is Red T?

Red T is an initiative dedicated to the protection of translators and interpreters (T&Is) in conflict zones and other adversarial settings. Comprising a team of volunteers, Red T advocates worldwide on behalf of linguists at risk, raises awareness of their plight and promotes their safety.

Why do T&Is need us?

From conflict zone to courtroom, T&Is are confronted with varying degrees of distrust, discrimination, and threats. The readiness of many to be suspicious of T&Is also suggests that few truly understand what translation/ interpretation means. These hardships and their implications affect more than just T&Is - our lack of trust in them puts us all at risk. For these reasons, Red T seeks to raise awareness, lay the groundwork for change, and aid T&Is in their plight.

Priority Action Steps

  • » Drawing attention to and informing the public about the plight of translators and interpreters in conflict zones and other high-risk settings
  • » Redefining the role of conflict zone T&Is and working toward protected-person status akin to that granted ICRC staff
  • » Seeking to obtain a UN resolution conferring special legal status to T&Is operating in conflict zones (similar to Resolution 1738 protecting journalists)
  • » Exposing injustices and rights violations as they relate to T&Is