TalkTV have paid a “substantial” amount to Migrants Organise over the 2022 comments.
A human rights charity has received an apology and “substantial damages” from a British TV channel after a host described them as “human traffickers”.
TalkTV was forced to apologise to Migrants Organise following remarks made on June 10 and 13 2022 by the host of The Independent Republic of Mike Graham.
The apology, published over a year after the initial comments were made, accepted that there “wasn't a factual basis” behind claims that the migrants rights charity was “funded to help illegal migration”, were “human traffickers”, and “that they facilitated fraud and terrorism by advising asylum seekers to falsify information to bolster their asylum claims”.
TalkTV added in the statement: “There were criticisms of Migrants Organise in the show and we should have offered the charity the opportunity to come on and respond. We apologise for not doing that and have agreed to pay them damages and legal costs.”
The award-winning charity advocating for the rights and welfare of migrants and refugees said the “false and damaging assertions” “characterised Migrants Organise and its dedicated efforts to support migrants and refugees in inaccurate and harmful ways”.
They added: “The comments were broadcast on 10 June 2022 and repeatedly shared on Twitter until 13 June 2022, inspiring a torrent of hateful messages and threats against Migrants Organise and its charitable funders.
“Recognising the gravity of the defamatory statements and the potential harm they could cause to Migrants Organise’s reputation and work, the charity pursued legal recourse for a year to seek redress and vindication.
“After negotiations, Talk TV and Mr Graham agreed to publish an apology stating that they “accept there wasn’t a factual basis” to allegations that Migrants Organise “facilitated fraud and terrorism”.
Migrants Organise CEO Zrinka Bralo said: “We are pleased to have resolved this matter and received an apology and damages for the false and damaging allegations. We sought to protect our reputation and the safety of our people – migrants and refugees, our volunteers, staff, allies and supporters who work for dignity and justice.
“We were exposed to hate and threats of violence as a result of the mischaracterisation of our work and the dehumanisation of people in need, and we had to take a stand.”
Migrants Organise said charities supporting vulnerable people are increasingly targeted by inaccurate media coverage and inflammatory language.
The charity’s CEO added: “This victory is for the people behind these headlines, people who have no voice or representation, people who are scapegoated, demonised and dehumanised. Their resilience is the source of hope for all of us. The least we can do is to treat them with humanity, and instead of blaming them for all our problems, we should look for more ways to welcome them.”
The damages received from the settlement will be utilised by Migrants Organise to further support their vital work in supporting migrants and refugees to rebuild their lives.