Civil and human rights organizations play a significant role in ensuring that people’s rights and liberties are protected. These institutions work towards ensuring that government’s respect and support citizens’ social rights while providing assistance to the marginalized and vulnerable members of the society.
Human rights organizations and other civil societies actively monitor the happenings in the society to ensure that states provide human protection through social protection policies and programs, according to justifiable principles, rights and obligations.
These groups hold states accountable whenever social rights are violated through exerting pressure on court action and political decision makers. However, despite the crucial role that these groups play in the society, they are increasingly facing hostility from states, which are expected to support them.
Non-democratic states use the law as a tool to place limitations on the operations of civil and human rights groups. The government’s inability and unwillingness to play their role in upholding human rights has created a chilled environment for human rights organizations.
In numerous instances, governments have been adopting legislation that places excessive limitations on assisting vulnerable and marginalized groups. For instance, in Australia, groups advocating for migrant rights are barred from speaking out on abuses witnessed on migrants in detention centers.
In Hungary, the state has used excessive force on migrants during protests and journalists monitoring the protests. The same situation has been experienced in Mexico where civil and human rights defenders offer assistance to migrants who face threats from criminals who rape, extort, and kill with full impunity. Read more: Michael Larcey | Crunchbase and Michael Larcey | Twitter
In addition, International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) highlighted the serious barriers experienced by human rights advocates in Serbia where they are denied access to facilities accommodating unaccompanied migrant children.
With extreme hostility being witnessed, the international community should be on the frontline to ensure that these groups operate in free environments and are supported by governments. A significant step can be made towards managing the situation once these groups collaborate in fighting for basic rights to freedom of association, assembly and expression.
About Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund
Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund is a renowned organization that offers support to groups that fight for civil, human and migrant rights, including freedom of expression across Arizona. The foundation was co-founded in 2007 by two prominent Arizona journalists, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, who are also the co-founders of Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media.
The duo raised funds from their arrest by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Lacey and Larkin was established when the two journalists were arrested for exposing the misdeeds of Joe Arpaio on Phoenix New Times newspaper. The articles had shed light on the role that he played in instilling anti-Mexican fear and political posturing in Arizona.
Moreover, Michael and Jim exposed the information about the court proceedings where Joe and his allies were demanding for identities of citizens who read the online stories on Phoenix New Times. They were released within 24 hours due to public demand.
Michael and Jim won the case on First Amendment rights and abuse of power in 2012 in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which paved way for a $3.75 million settlement that was paid by Maricopa County in 2013.