Support ISHR | On World Refugee Day, let’s stand up with defenders of people on the move!


Today is World Refugee Day. Let’s celebrate those who, like Abdul Aziz Muhamat, raise their voices so people on the move are treated with dignity and humanity.

Aziz fled from the war in Darfur and sought refuge in Australia. Authorities detained him and he spent almost six years on an island, enduring, with hundreds of others, deprivation, harassment, humiliation and violence. Through his voice, the world discovered the illegality and immorality of Australia's refugee and asylum seeker policy. Aziz’s contribution in standing up for the rights of refugees was recognised with the 2019 Martin Ennals Award.

At ISHR we believe that we are all humans and equally deserve dignity and respect, no matter our nationality, place of birth or whether or not we have papers. We are convinced that defenders have an essential role to play in recognising that dignity, by seeking to make migration policies more humane and rights-respecting. We know you do too.

Yet, our governments often depict people on the move and those who support them as a threat. They want to keep us apart by building walls and criminalising solidarity, prosecuting those who work hard to protect people escaping war and poverty, or those who simply want to lend a hand to a fellow human hurt or in need.

You can support us in changing this!


We know that our work has impact. Last year, with our input and years of hard work by migrants and their communities, the UN issued new guidelines on what governments should be doing to protect migrants’ rights -  which includes support for those who defend them and who provide lifesaving assistance. Still, an increasing number of countries - from Australia to Mexico, from Italy to Thailand, and from Hungary to the US – are restricting the work of migrant rights defenders.

Together, we can change that! We can empower human rights defenders so they know how to use these new guidelines and to hold their governments accountable on the ground. This week, we are training four migrant rights defenders. Aziz is one of them.

Big or small, your donation will help. Here's how:

 With your donation, you are building bridges between defenders so they can make a world where we all can call some place home. Thank you for your contribution! 

Phil Lynch
ISHR Director


Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash