Organizations advocating for human rights have evolved over the years to become important players in shaping more than the political discourses of various geopolitical regions. They have significantly influenced the social, education and economic spheres of global communities.
By championing for various human rights including rights of immigrants and basic human rights as right to quality education, life and freedom of expression, these advocacy groups have opened spaces for many people globally.
Whether local, national or international human rights advocacy groups have important mandate that including monitoring reporting of human rights situations within their areas of jurisdiction. Moreover, they play a critical role in influencing policy development through various researches and lobbying.
However, these mandates require significant amounts of funds to finance the logistics involved. Many of these organizations receive funding from the government, individual donors and other well wishers. Some of them also receive financial banking from other human advocacy groups and funds such as the Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund established by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin following a court debacle that made national headlines.
Some human rights advocacy groups such as Transparency International have also established chapters operating in various regions and nations to facilitate their operations in identified regions. Others operate as supranational organizations with member organizations and personnel that oversee the attainment of their foundational mission and objectives.
Standing Up for First Amendment and Immigrants Rights
When journalists Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were awarded $3.75 million compensation after winning an infringement of First Amendment rights case against Maricopa County, they used it to set up a fund to fight for the same rights they were denied and reported on. The two journalists and owners of two media houses were arrested at midnight by deputies drawn from a special unit of police from Maricopa County.
They were whisked away in SUVs with tinted windows and foreign license plates after being issued with grand jury subpoenas. In addition to being illegally issued by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s friends within the county’s judicial system, the subpoenas demands infringed on the journalists’ First Amendment rights.
They demanded that the journalists reveal the identity and IP addresses of online readers of the stories they had published in one of their publications. The stories exposed the abuse of office and financial misappropriations by the sheriff.
However, after sustained outcry by members of the public the two journalists were released and later filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County. Even though the case dragged on for years, they finally won.
They used the settlement fee to set up the Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund, which is headquartered in Phoenix Arizona. Maricopa County’s sheriff racially profiled Latino immigrants.
To protect the rights of these immigrants, Lacey and Larkin dedicated the fund to financing nongovernmental organizations dedicated to this cause. Moreover, they will use the find to support organizations advocating for First Amendment rights.