Tackling human, civil and migrant rights issues requires concerted efforts of both governmental and nongovernmental organizations and institutions. Human rights organizations have been on the forefront of championing for the guaranteeing and protection of fundamental human rights such as the First Amendment’s freedom of speech, freedom of association and self-determination.

In particular, nongovernmental human rights organizations have bridged the gap between the capacity and capability of governmental institutions and agencies and the ever demanding and complex human rights issues.

While some may have localized operational scope such as state or county, other human rights organizations operate within a larger geographical region. This includes national and international levels. Others have overarching operational scope and may operate as supranational or intergovernmental entities.

This is in recognition of the overarching nature of these issues such as migrant rights, which can extend into several geographical regions. The scope of their geographical location is therefore determined by the issues and causes that they champion for too.

There are thousands of human, civil and migrant rights organizations spread across the globe. However, organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and International Federation for Human Rights have regional operations offices that focus on particular issues within a given region.

Some of these organizations such as the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) are members of other human rights organizations. They are also dedicated to creating an intergovernmental platform where stakeholders can come together to develop solutions to human rights issues.

These organizations receive funding from a wide variety of sources including funds set aside by individuals and organizations for such purposes and governmental and nongovernmental donors. Some of these funds such as the Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund are usually donated by individuals committed to fighting against institutional oppressions.

Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund: Protecting First Amendment

The setting up of Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin stemmed from an unfortunate incident with institutional oppression undertones.

The fund is a silver lining in a rather unfortunate incident, which saw the two journalists and entrepreneurs arrested and the law enforcement department at Maricopa County attempting to deny them their freedom of speech as guaranteed in the First Amendment.

The cofounders of Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media had run a story in of their online tabloids about the county sheriff’s ongoing court case. The article highlighted the grand jury’s decision calling for journalists covering the case to hand over the notes they took during the court proceedings.

The two journalists were later arbitrarily arrested in the middle of the night by the sheriff following their exposure. The grand jury further issued subpoenas that demanded that they reveal the identity of all the online readers of their article on the exposure. They challenged the decision at before the district appellate judge who ruled in their favor. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase

To support the First Amendment rights, which they were being denied, Larkin and Lacey established a fund using the $3.75 million awarded by the judge as settlement. They funds will also be used to finance causes that support the rights of migrants throughout Arizona.