In 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The declaration and the organization arose following a period of strife across the world that had resulted in two major wars. The founding countries of the United Nations were looking to end future abuses of human rights in the world.
By signing that declaration, governments committed themselves to upholding civil, human and migrant rights. However, the reality was much different as not all governments were fully committed to protecting human rights.
In an effort to fill the gap and press the governments to fulfill their obligations, many organizations were formed. Their goal is to fight for the rights of the marginalized people across the world. Understanding the work that these organizations do can help to inform the world of its importance.
In an idea world, all human beings would be equal. However, the world we live in is not ideal. There are many inequalities that result in human rights abuses across the board. The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have been marked with an agitation for democracy across the world.
While some of the pro-democracy movements have succeeded against oppressive regimes, others have failed. In those areas where the movements have failed, there have been widespread civil rights abuses.
The people are denied basic freedoms as envisaged in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In addition to the political sphere, there are ethnic and racial difficulties that lead to human rights abuses. The competition for scarce resources leads to hostility against people who are different. Read more: Jim Larkin | Twitter
This has led to ethnic cleansing in various countries. The aim of such cleansing efforts is to remove the people that are viewed as being different so as to leave more resources for those who are similar. One of the most famous ethnic cleansing atrocities is the Rwandan genocide that took place in 1994.
The various civil, human, and migrant rights organizations that have been formed exist because there is a gap in the world. Organizations such as the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund exist to serve this purpose. The fund was established by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, two friends who has also co-founded Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media. On October 18, 2007, Lacey and Larkin were arrested by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County.
The journalists had revealed the existence of a grand jury proceedings investigating the Sheriff. The grand jury had requested for notes that the journalists had on articles they had published on the Sheriff. After the arrest, the two journalists successfully sued the county and were awarded damages which they used to start the fund.
Since the founding of the organization, it has focused its efforts on preserving civil, human and migrant rights in the United States. It recognizes the need for advocacy owing to the threats against freedoms that have been seen in the country.
The fund helps to promote the freedom of speech mainly because the journalists were arrested for speaking their mind. There is a need for similar organizations that can help advocate for the rights of various oppressed groups across the world.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/
The History Behind The Frontera Fund
If you don’t know who Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are, you may be able to recall an incident in 2007 that the two journalists were involved in. They made national headlines when they were arrested, for something published in their newspaper, by Joe Arpaio, corrupt Sheriff of Maricopa County. When national publications heard that their fellow journalists had had their first amendment rights violated they couldn’t remain quite. USA Today, The New York Times, and the Washington Post all had the story on news stands the same day.
The fury of the American people was too much for Maricopa County to endure. They released Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin hours later.
In retaliation to the arrest, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County and Joe Arpaio. The result was a $3.75 settlement that Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are now using to inform and assist Arizona residents.
In their new publication, Front Page Confidential, the journalists educate readers on subjects relating to civil rights and politics. By reading Front Page Confidential, Lacey and Larkin hope that readers gain a better understanding of politics, enabling them to make better decisions at the voting booth.
If they merely started a new newspaper, it wouldn’t be very altruistic. To assist with their goals further, they created The Frontera Fund. The fund serves as a fundraiser for a large variety of charities in and around Arizona. With the Frontera Fund, they are attempt to correct the damage Arpaio has caused to the Hispanic community and other parts of Arizona.