Long before M*A*S*H was a household word Mike was involved in issues that were of concern to him. These issues are largely those involving human rights.
Since 1979 he has been spokesperson for CONCERN/America, an international refugee aid and development organization. In this capacity he has visited refugee camps in Asia and Central America and helped with disseminating information about CONCERN/America’s work across the globe.
Mike served as Co-Chair of Human Rights Watch in California from 1994 to 2004 and remains a member of the Committee; serves as President of Death Penalty Focus and as member of the advisory board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
the executive Committee of HRW California: Mike Farrell, Zazi Pope, Ken Roth, Vicki Riskin and Jane Olson
He was member of the board of advisors of the now-defunct Cult Awareness Network and founding board member of Peace Studies, ATV, an inmate-developed alternatives to violence program at Augusta Correctional Center in Virginia.
After a trip to Somalia and Bosnia on her behalf, Mike was named Good Will Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees.
Throughout the years Farrell has travelled to many areas ravaged by famine, human rights violations and war. In the section “Journals” of this website you can read Mike’s journals of visits to these areas.
What follows is a list of the countries Mike has visited and the organizations involved.
1979 Refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border in association with CONCERN/America [see journal]
1982 Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua again in association with CONCERN/America
1983 El Salvador, as part of a human rights delegation which was sponsored by the Commission on the US/Central American Relations. This group was on of the first delegations allowed to meet with political prisoners.
1984 El Salvador and Nicaragua, with a human rights delegation, again meeting with a broad array of government and non-governmental spokespeople.
1985 Peace delegation to the USSR. [see journal]. Later that year Mike returned to El Salvador on a mission that provided medical attention to a wounded POW.
1986 With a human rights delegation from the International Center for Delevopment Policy and the Arca Foundation to Paraguay and Chile.
1988 To Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the occupied territories with the Interreligious Committee for Peace in the Middel East. [see article]
1989 To El Salvador, this time for the production of “La Lucha”, a documentary film for the National Council of Churches
1990 Middle East with PAX World Foundation. Then with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs to act as an observer for the Czechoslovakian elections.
1992 Visited refugee camps, relief centers and self-help projects in Somalia and Kenya, then on to Croatia and Bosnia. [see journal] Later that year he returned to Jordan, Israel and the West Bank inspecting self-help, community action and medical programs with a special focus on children.
1994 Part of a delegation to Cuba, to investigate the need for humanitarian assistance to educational and medical programs. [see journal]
1995 Rwanda, Zaire and Tanzania to visit refugee camps and meet with officials. [see journal]
1998 Trip to Costa Rica to address the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. [see journal]
2004 Trip to Honduras with former Ambassador of the US in El Salvador, Robert White on a campaign against illegal logging.