Prompted by efforts from immigrant rights leader Maru Mora Villalpando, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) met in Washington, D.C. on December 5th to dialogue with the Government of the United States of America about the Situation of Human Rights Defenders of Migrants in the country. Prominent immigrants’ defenders from throughout the country, targeted by the Trump Administration for their human rights work, testifed before the Commission. The IACHR will hold its 170th Period of Sessions from December 3 to 7, 2018, in its headquarters in Washington, D.C., United States of America.
The University of Washington’s (UW) International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) and Center for Human Rights (CHR) in collaboration with the North West Detention Center Resistance (NWDCR), New York University (NYU) Immigration Clinic, and Migrant Justice supported the leaders sharing their experiences and the impact of the infringement of freedom of speech on their work, their families and their communities. The organizations also presented the UW Center for Human Rights Report “Secret Police: Access to information about immigration enforcement in the contemporary United States”. After the hearing the groups will hold a press conference to update the public and press.
Speakers: Immigrant activists and leaders, Alejandra Pablos, Shacorrie Tunkara, Maru Mora Villalpando, Janay Cauthen- Jean Montrevil’s wife-, Kike Balcazar, Ravi Ragbir, and members of the Universities UW Law School IHRC, UW CHR, NYU Immigration Clinic, University of Notre Dame, and National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG).
The hearing came after the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission expressed concern about the United States actions against immigrant leaders, calling the government to adopt measures to ensure an environment in which human rights defenders can work freely, without threat of retaliation.
The Inter-American Commission is and independent body of the Organization of American States, and has the mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region.