Lacey and Larkin Advocating for the Upholding of Human Rights

There has been a struggle to defend migrants’ rights, as well as the role each country plays in enhancing the facilitation, protection, and respect for migrants. Various United Nations human rights bodies have supported this stance where migrants should not be obstructed from their work.

But despite all these efforts, a number of States have imposed legal restrictions not only on migrant workers but on migrant human rights activists.

The Advocates for Human Rights was started in 1983 by a group of lawyers from Minnesota who were motivated by the city’s social justice system which they used to promote and facilitate human rights globally.

At the start, before going global, the organization focused on educating its members and attorneys on how to protect, promote and encourage human rights efforts and the interplay on the legal expertise. Professional and lawyers were taught skills and experiences of how to defend human rights.

After getting global, the organization was applauded for coming up with the “Minnesota Protocol.” This international manual that was later adopted by the UN in investigating cases and conducting autopsies and forensic of politically pushed homicides. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin |

The organization works have moved from local to national and even internationally with human rights advocacy and efforts in Nepal, Liberia, Moldova, Poland, Bulgaria, Mexico, and Uganda. The Advocates for Human Rights still lives to the vision of its founders, efforts, and energy of its staff, board, and volunteers as well as its generous supporters.

Mission statement: To ensure application of human rights standards internationally by endorsing civil society and enhancing the rule of law. This is through advocacy, research and educating local and global communities.

Principles: The Advocates for Human Rights is committed to developing proactive and creative strategies that are sustainable for protection and promotion of international human rights. The organization is moved by the following principles:

 Quick adaptation of their methods to the dynamics in human rights needs and situations.

 Retention of skillful and talented workers.

 Proper control and use of donor resources, volunteers, and contributions.

Incorporating knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers in human rights projects, and encourage them to be part of the movement.

 Sharing professional information and resources across all departments and programs hence making the optimum out of each resource.

 Collaborating with other organizations, communities, and advocates to build relationships on ways of protecting human rights.

 Encouraging all people to partake in ensuring human rights prevail.

The Frontera Fund

The Frontera Fund came as a twist in a legal battle involving Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. This was after they were arrested and charged by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for what they had written and publicized in their Village Voice media which the sheriff claimed went against the grand jury secrecy laws.

Later the county attorney dropped the charges against them. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin decided to sue the sheriff, the special prosecutor and the county attorney for infringement of their First Amendments rights as well as misuse of power.

The court noted there was no reason for the arrest which contradicted the claim since the prosecutor has not consulted a grand jury. Lacey and Larkin were awarded $3.75 million as settlement money which they used to found Frontera Fund.

They used this fund to support civil and human rights efforts. The fund also is aimed at supporting Hispanic in Phoenix and freedom of speech and migrant rights in Arizona especially along the Mexican border.