Support ISHR | On World Refugee Day, let’s support migrant rights defenders

20.06.2018

Support ISHR's June fundraising appeal to help human rights defenders pursue their work across the globe. 

“Their story is one of resilience, perseverance and courage. Ours must be of solidarity, compassion and action” 
- UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Solidarity is one of the most commonly shared values: most of us seek to treat others the way we want to be treated. In fact, it’s quite natural for many of us to help people in need, be they relatives, neighbours, or even passersby on the street. 

Why should we treat people looking for a better life any differently?

Today, more than 68 million people around the world are refugees or internally displaced as a result of conflict or persecution. They seek a safer life and better future. Many people - people like you and me - host refugees and asylum seekers in their communities and in their homes. They play football together. They give migrants a lift to the store or the doctor. Or they simply share hot tea and some biscuits.  

However, politicians often use anti-foreigner rhetoric to make migrants seem like a threat to our way of life. New regulations or aggressive police might make it harder for us or our communities to provide shelter, solidarity, and support. In some cases, people and groups helping migrants to enjoy a safer life and better future – in essence, human rights defenders – instead find themselves at risk or considered criminals. Showing solidarity and taking action is something we should celebrate and elevate, not criminalise and suppress.

On World Refugee Day, can you help us support those who defend the rights of migrants and refugees?

At ISHR, we work relentlessly to create a world where defenders are protected and recognised for their vital work. We build bridges for migrant rights activists – people like Mariana from Mexico, who is currently attending our Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme - to make their voices heard on the international stage. We coach them in long-term programmes so that they become even more effective locally. We advocate for States to ensure a safe and enabling environment for anyone working to assist people on the move, protect them from violence, ensure justice for victims, and change immigration laws - because no human is illegal.

All of this is only possible with your contribution. Are you in a position to spread the word and help us support more migrant rights defenders?

Human rights defenders are the lifeblood of the human rights movement. They are our best hope for a fairer, safer world. Let's help them today to achieve transformative change!

 

Phil Lynch
ISHR Director
email: p.lynch@ishr.ch
tel: + 41 76 708 47 38

Photo: Pxhere.com