Ensuring Safety and Support for Human Rights Defenders of Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Other Migrants Targeted by Illegal Pushback Policies, Extremist Attacks, and Harassment by Government Officials
Submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders for a Report on Human Rights Defenders Working on Issues Related to Migration, Refugees and Asylum
This submission has been produced on the basis of Human Rights First’s years of experience in representing, researching, and advocating for refugees seeking humanitarian protection and in our continuing efforts to secure support for human rights defenders, counter violent extremism, and seek accountability for human rights abuses. This submission focuses on illegal U.S. pushback policies that endanger human rights defenders in Mexico working with refugees and migrants as well as asylum-seeking human rights defenders subjected to illegal pushbacks; targeted violence and threats by extremists in the United States against human rights defenders of refugees; and harassment of immigrants-rights defenders at the U.S.-Mexico border by U.S. officials.
Human Rights First recommends that the Special Rapporteur press governments, including the United States, to: end illegal pushback policies, which endanger asylum seekers and the human rights defenders attempting to assist them; hold accountable violent extremists for attacks on human rights defenders due to their work with refugee communities; and ensure better support and global coordination to safeguard the lives of human rights defenders