Defenders of migrants call for new international treaties

The world needs another diplomat like the Mexican Alfonso García Robles, winner of the 1982 Nobel Peace Prize, to generate new international treaties that bring peace and justice for migrants, since they are in a state of great vulnerability due to the systematic violation of their human rights from the place where they leave, to where they arrive, passing through where they transit.

This was explained yesterday by Raquel Rubio Goldsmith, professor of Mexican-Chicano history at the University of Arizona, who spoke on behalf of nine people and institutions to which the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) awarded the Alfonso García award. Robles 2022.

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The award, instituted five years ago, was awarded to activists, authorities, academics and civil organizations from Austria, Mexico and the United States, in a ceremony led by the rector Enrique Graue and in which the UNAM secretary general, Leonardo Lomelí spoke on behalf of the University and reflected on the need to fully guarantee the human rights of migrants who move for multiple economic, family and violence reasons.


The people and institutions that were recognized this year have a long history, which in some cases began from childhood, promoting education, legal protection, access to housing and health services for migrants. The story of each one deserves a book, due to the dramatic transformation that they have promoted in their respective environments, for the benefit of thousands of people.

The list is made up of Alma Anaya, a Mexican immigrant and first elected commissioner of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois; Sadot Azzua, a communicator from Tamaulipas who works as a liaison for the migrant and refugee community in the Austin, Texas Police Department; César Espinosa, pro-immigrant activist, “dreamer” and founder of Immigrant Families and Students in Struggle (FIEL), in Houston, Texas, and the list also includes all the staff of the Federal Institute of Public Defender, in Mexico City.

: The nine awards were given to institutions and individuals that promote legal protection, education, health, work and housing for migrants in different countries.

The nine awards were given to institutions and individuals that promote legal protection, education, health, work and housing for migrants in different countries.


The UNAM recognized in this same year the Institute for Women in Migration, of Mexico City, which has provided protection to 1,721 migrant women, over 12 years; the migrant businessman and job creator Jaime Lucero, founder of Casa Puebla in New York and the Fuerza Migrante group, from the same city; to the Latino Trans Organization in Texas, defenders of transsexual migrants, victims of human trafficking, and HIV-positive women and men; Raquel Rubio Goldsmith, professor emeritus at Pima Community College and the University of Arizona, Tucson, considered the “mother of ethnic studies” in Arizona; as well as the organization Shalom Alaikum-Jewish Aid for Refugees, founded in Vienna, Austria, by Jewish women to offer protection, legal guidance and help to Muslim migrant families.

Raquel Rubio Goldsmith explained that the border between Mexico and the United States is on the brink of a humanitarian tragedy that concerns us all. There, the right to life is violated, people disappear and there are thousands of unidentified bodies. He also spoke out for opening the borders to human mobility, just as they are open to trade.

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On the other hand, Netzaí Sandoval Ballesteros, general director of the Federal Institute of Public Defender, asserted that the awards do not constitute the purpose of that institution, but they are a source of motivation, of legitimacy for their work.

He commented that in that Institute they support migrants with legal advice and asserted that migrating is a human right, behind which are inequality, poverty, discrimination, stigma, violent conflicts that lead entire families to flee their place of residence. origin and be criminalized.

The recognition is five years old

The Alfonso García Robles recognition was instituted by UNAM in 2017 as recognition of the most important Mexican diplomat and to combat ignorance and denial of the human rights of migrants; problem that is a daily and lacerating concern for humanity. According to the International Organization for Migration, in 2020 there were 281 million international migrants in the world, and at the end of 2021 approximately 89 million people were forcibly displaced, of whom 41 percent were girls and boys.

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Defenders of migrants call for new international treaties