In the recent years, there has been a rise in the unprecedented flows of migrant and asylum seeking refugees. To this end, migration and human rights defenders, and other civil groups have been coming to the fore to uphold their rights, provide assistance to the vulnerable groups and collaborate with governments to handle the refugee crisis.
Governments are required to protect migrants and take interest in partnering with other stakeholders. However, many governments have demonstrated unwillingness or inability to fulfill their obligations. Instead they have been placing strict regulations on groups that advocate for migration and human rights.
These groups need to be supported and given space to operate without unnecessary restrictions. Some instances of hostility on human rights defenders and civil society organizations include vilification, stigmatization, and retaliation against lawyers and human rights advocates in different countries. Some governments criminalize services that are directed towards migrants while others restrict freedom of expression. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-larkin-8a2a4213a and https://www.crunchbase.com/person/jim-larkin-2#/entity
These excessive limitations create a difficult working environment for human rights advocates and civil societies. However, there have been successful efforts to challenge immigration practices that undermine human rights. The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) has pushed for the prioritization of “defenders of migrant and refugee rights” by the UN Human Rights Council.
This situation has forced the High Commissioner to release a practical guidance of State policies on migrants. The Principles and Practical Guidance on Respecting the Human Rights of Migrants in Vulnerable Situations draft requires the State to respect all groups that advocate for human rights and offer assistance to migrants.
It states that the legitimate efforts of human rights advocates should not be criminalized by government laws and policies, but should be supported. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikepida and Jim Larkin | Huffington Post
The principle holds the State and stakeholders accountable for violence, discrimination, reprisals or intimidation faced by these groups. Lastly, the principle requires the government to publicly support and promote the work of the human rights groups and civil societies.
About Lacey & Larkin
Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund supports groups that advocate for migrant, civil, and human rights, including freedom of speech and civic participation in Arizona. Lacey & Larkin was co-founded by two reputable journalists, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, who use their settlement to fund the organization’s activities.
Recently, the two were arrested by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In October 2007, the duo were awarded $3.75 million after being put behind bars for disclosing the ongoing grand jury proceedings that demanded their notes covering Sheriff Arpiao.
Astonishingly, the grand jury also sought the identity of citizens who read the journalists’ New Times stories online. Lacey and Larkin used their knowledge of the First Amendment rights to sue the county. In the end, the United States Court of Appeal made a ruling in their favor.