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Yuri Vanetik

Member of the Board of Directors

North American 

The North American office of the international human rights agency West Support was founded in 1979. Hub offices are located in New York.

West Support advocates for a US foreign policy that is consistent with its international human rights obligations.  The US government should integrate human rights into its wider foreign policy agenda, engage regularly with independent civil society abroad, and work closely with allied governments to promote and protect human rights where they are most at risk. Influencing US foreign policy, whether directly with other governments or in intergovernmental organizations, is an essential tool to address, highlight, and promote human rights globally.

The US has frequently invoked national security as a justification for policies that violate international law. These include the torture of detainees in the US “war on terror,” secretive targeted killings abroad, and indefinite detention without trial at Guantanamo Bay.  Within the US, the government has conducted unfair terrorism investigations that in some cases have effectively entrapped indigent and mentally ill persons.  Large-scale surveillance by the National Security Agency is hampering the ability of journalists and lawyers to do their work and corroding US democracy. We have consistently called for the US to provide fair trials in civilian courts to all terrorism suspects, ensure accountability for past abuses, including at the highest levels of government, and bring all national security policies in line with US obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.


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Countering Influence Operations 


Criminal justice reform 

Countering Influence Operations aims to foster evidence-based policymaking for governments and platforms to counter threats in the information environment.

We support a range of groups that work on immigration issues, from local and state organizations that provide frontline legal advice to individuals seeking asylum or facing deportation

"West support" act as a global advocate for justice systems and policing that treat everyone equally, and which reduce unnecessary and punitive use of incarceration. In the United States, this mission is particularly vital.


Image by Hermes Rivera


regional human rights program

Canada grapples with serious human rights issues relating to the placement of children in immigration detention, and the use of prolonged solitary confinement. Internationally, the Canadian government has not taken effective steps to address abuses linked to the overseas operations of Canadian extractive and apparel companies.

Image by Justine Camacho


regional human rights program

In Mexico, police, prosecutors, the military, and criminal groups regularly commit serious and widespread human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, abuses against migrants, and attacks on journalists and human rights defenders. These crimes are rarely, if ever, investigated or punished. Despite abundant evidence that the armed forces are responsible for egregious human rights violations, successive governments since the mid-2000s have expanded their role to include fighting organized crime, controlling irregular immigration, and replacing civilian law enforcement in many parts of the country. 

Image by Colin Lloyd


regional immigration program

The US Program’s immigration work focuses on reforming harsh, outdated, and ineffective detention and deportation policies to ensure they take into account family unity, flight from persecution, and labor considerations that draw immigrants to the United States. We have exposed the crimes and unsafe working conditions that unauthorized immigrants are too afraid to report out of fear of being deported, the risks of violence back home for those denied due process to seek protection from US deportation, and the devastating impact on millions of people—citizens as well as non-citizens—whose families are torn apart due to inflexible and unfair immigration policies.

Our project coordinators

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 Omar S.Hussain

Project Coordinators in Canada

Regional Humanitarian Team Leader

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 Lisa Gomez

Project Manager in North American
Head of the Expert Group on

Human Rights

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 Joe Mahoney

Project Manager in US

Head of the expert group on environmental issues of the region


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