Recently, civil societies and human rights defenders have continued to be attacked by governments and institutions that enjoy impunity. In the midst of these concerns, the High Commissioner and other organizations like the UN Human Rights Council have come up with innovative measures to address this concern.
The Principles and Practical Guidance on Respecting the Human Rights of Migrants in Vulnerable Situations, which was drafted by the High Commissioner early this year, promotes safety and security of human, civil, and migrant rights defenders. Principle 18 calls upon states to appreciate the activities undertaken by civil societies and human rights groups.
Specifically, the principle warns governments against criminalizing the legitimate work of these groups and holds them accountable in case of any violence, threats, discrimination or intimidation faced by these defenders.
The UN Human Rights Council Enhanced Dialogue on Migrants demonstrated the efforts made by the organization’s officials to protect the human rights of migrants and the civil society. For instance, Monami Malik, a panelist, highlighted the importance of civil society, specifically migrant-related organizations.
The German delegation outlined the functions of human rights defenders in protecting and assisting vulnerable migrants. Generally, human rights defenders and other civil groups confront power, exclusion, privilege and inequality. Despite of their significant role in the society, these groups have been forced to operate in chilled environments owing to governments’ failure and unwillingness to support them. Read more: Jim Larkin | LinkedIn and Jim Larkin | Angel.co
Such incidences have been witnessed in most countries, including Australia, Hungary, and Mexico. In these countries, the government of the day has implemented laws and policies criminalizing assistance to migrants while others have placed excessive red tape on the operation of these groups.
In other cases, human rights advocates have been denied contact with their clients. In such situations, human rights groups are forced to minimize their operations while others quit, despite of the increased need for their services.
There is need for the international community to collaborate and fight for human rights group’s freedom of association, assembly and expression. Lacey & Larkin is one of the organizations that is supporting these groups.
About Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund
Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund seeks to finance the operations of civil, human and migrant rights groups in Arizona. The organization was founded by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. The two Arizona-based journalists are also the brains behind Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media. The duo raised funds from their arrest by Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio.
They exposed the sheriff for misusing his office and other ill deeds. Michael and Jim established the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund in 2007 after receiving a settlement of $3.75 million from the Maricopa County, as per the court ruling.