Local Human Rights Lawyering Partners Request Thematic Hearing on Migrant Farmworker Camp Access Before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

On Monday January 20, 2014, Local Human Rights Lawyering Partners Maryland Legal Aid and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, along with a coalition of farmworker advocates, submitted a request for a thematic hearing during the upcoming 150th Period of Sessions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights which will be held in March 2014.  The request calls on the Commission to examine the United States’ failure to ensure human rights defenders’ access to migrant farmworker labor camps and failure to ensure farmworkers’ rights to access human rights information.  The coalition alleges that the lack of legal protections guaranteeing migrant labor camp access violates basic human rights, including the right to freedom of assembly and association, right to freedom from arbitrary arrest, right to personal security, right to due process, right to nondiscrimination, and right to access to legal counsel.

The coalition of over 25 farmworker and other human rights organizations was formed and led by Maryland Legal Aid and worked closely with the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Transnational Legal Clinic to complete the request.  The coalition previously submitted a shadow report to the U.N. Human Rights Committee and a complaint to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights regarding the same issue.

For more information on the Local Human Rights Lawyering Project and the human rights work of our partners Maryland Legal Aid and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, please visit http://www.wcl.american.edu/humright/center/locallawyering.cfm.