2012-08-24 01:20

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Global human rights group Breakthrough launches high-impact #ImHere campaign for immigrant women's rights

Artists and celebs including Conor Oberst and Desaparecidos to help get message out

NEW YORK – August 23, 2012 – At a moment when both women’s rights and immigrant rights are under unprecedented attack — and when immigrants are demanding justice more boldly than ever — global human rights group Breakthrough today announces the launch of #ImHere. #ImHere is a high-impact, pop-driven campaign designed to put the human rights of immigrant women on the national agenda of the United States during this election season.

Desaparecidos, the punk band led by Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), has signed on as #ImHere artist partners. The band will take the campaign on the road during their west coast tour. Their latest single is an anthem protesting anti-immigrant attitudes.  

Employing Breakthrough’s signature approach, #ImHere will also use innovative multimedia tools to engage millions of supporters, creating a vocal critical mass. Campaign elements, set to unfold throughout the election season, include celebrity PSAs directed by Patricia Riggen (La Misma Luna/Under the Same Moon), a short narrative film, creative user content integrated among the latest social media platforms, and other pop-driven events. #ImHere will mobilize supporters to show leaders and lawmakers that Americans and their allies believe in — and demand — a humane, commonsense immigration system upholding human rights for all. 
#ImHere organizers believe that America’s current patchwork of immigration policies — which are flawed at best, cruel at worst — has an especially devastating impact on immigrant women and the families they struggle to raise.

“Imagine dropping your kids at school with no guarantee you’ll be back to pick them up. Imagine not knowing what scares you more: your violent husband or what might happen to you if you call the cops. Imagine signing power of attorney over to a neighbor so that someone will take care of your family if you disappear. The women facing these fears daily aren’t in Juarez or Kabul. They are here,” said Breakthrough president and CEO Mallika Dutt. “They enrich America’s economy and diversity. They share the American values of community, family, and hard work. But while we benefit from their presence, we deny their human rights. We must stand up for our neighbors, our sisters, and the very heart of our nation. We know we can build an America in which everyone is safe in their homes, secure in their families, and limitless in their dreams.”

In a recent Huffington Post interview about Desaparecidos, Conor Oberst said: “I've seen with my own eyes how our unjust immigration system tears families apart, separating mothers and fathers from children and leaving all involved in a state of helplessness and despair. I'll never understand how destroying families through deportation benefits our society. How we treat the undocumented says a great deal about us as a people and whether or not we'll continue to fulfill the fundamental American promise of equality and opportunity for all."

Even in pre-launch phase, the reach and momentum of #ImHere illustrates broad and diverse commitment to immigrant women’s rights. Benchmarks so far include:

· Social media reach of 500K (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram)
· 26 local and national partner organizations to date, including Define American, MomsRising, and Voto Latino. (Complete list appears below.)
· Nearly 400 contributors to #ImHere photo wall to date, representing 29 countries and in-cluding both immigrants and non-immigrants (
· For an interactive visual summary of the above, visit:


· In the first half of 2011 alone, the United States deported more than 46,000 parents of U.S.-citizen children, representing an all-time high. (
· At least 5,100 U.S. children are currently living in foster care and unable to reunite with their detained or deported parents. (
· Mothers in detention facilities are often denied the right to make arrangements for their children or attend family court hearings. Many have their parental rights taken away en-tirely. (
· The U.S. House of Representatives recently moved to strip long-standing protections for immigrant women from the Violence Against Women Act. (
· Immigrant women resist reporting domestic violence to the police for fear that they themselves will be deported. Nearly half of Latina women in one study reported that abuse had increased since they’d arrived. (
· Pregnant women in detention (and those who have been arrested but not charged) are routinely sexually assaulted by guards and forced to give birth in shackles, or with ICE agents at their bedsides. (
· A series of legal initiatives, including the Aderholt Amendment and PRENDA, have sought, with some success, to limit the reproductive rights of immigrant women. (
· Female migrant workers face high rates of sexual assault and abuse. (
· Immigrant women work for substandard wages 14% lower than those of female U.S. citi-zens and 13% lower than those of immigrant men. (
· In 2010, immigrant women comprised 40 percent of all immigrant business owners and 20 percent of women business owners in general. These women are more likely to own their own business than American-born women. (
· For real immigrant women’s stories illustrating the above, visit:

ACLU of Arizona, ACLU of Georgia, African Services Committee, Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), Define American, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, fBomb, iHollaback, Immigration Equality, MomsRising, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Immigrant Justice Center, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, New York Immigration Coalition, New York State Youth Leadership Council, One America, Planned Parenthood of New York City, Rebecca Project for Human Rights, Reform Immigration for America, Sauti Yetu, U.S. Human Rights Network, Unite Women, Voto Latino, Women's Refugee Commission


Breakthrough ( is a globally recognized leader in the inventive, innovative promotion of human rights and social change. Working out of centers in the U.S. and India, we create cutting-edge pop culture, including groundbreaking online games and music videos, de-signed to bring human rights issues and values into the mainstream. These multimedia cam-paigns — along with our in-depth trainings of young people, government officials, and community groups — have ignited new generations of leaders to act for local and global human rights. For more than a decade, we have addressed crucial issues including violence against women, immigrant rights, HIV/AIDS, and racial justice. 

Breakthrough’s work for immigrant rights includes the video games ICED (, America 2049 (, and Homeland Guantanamos (, through which 25 million people worldwide have seen the importance of bringing both common sense and human dignity into the immigration debate. Our most internationally lauded program, Bell Bajao (“Ring the Bell”) — recipient of a distinguished Cannes Silver Lion and numerous other awards — has called on millions of men and boys in India and beyond to stand up against domestic violence. Our current initiatives, including emerging programs addressing early marriage and sex-selective elimination, seek to build a culture in which women’s human rights — and thus families and societies — thrive. 


Lynn Harris I Communications Director
4 West 37th Street | 4th Floor | New York, NY 10018 | USA 
t +1.212.868.6500 ext 309 | c +1.917.215.1339
Skype lynncorinne / 917-675-4884 | Twitter @breakthrough |

#ImHere for immigrant women. Are you? ( 


  • #ImHere photo logo