Human Rights in the United States

 

The Program on Human Rights in the U.S. strives to promote the incorporation of international human rights norms, language, and strategies into the work of advocates on behalf of marginalized and vulnerable communities in the U.S. Working in close partnership with leading NGOs and other practitioners promoting human rights, the Center seeks to enhance the understanding of human rights law and the ways that it can be applied in social justice work in the U.S.

The Center has worked in close partnership with leading NGOs promoting human rights in the United States, including, among others, the American Civil Liberties Union, Penal Reform International, Rights Working Group, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, Columbia Human Rights Institute, Northeastern University’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, Center for Constitutional Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Center for Reproductive Rights, Open Society Foundations, and the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty.

The Center seeks to enhance the understanding of international law and the ways that it can be applied in social justice work in the U.S., and to bridge the disconnect between the United States’ promotion of human rights abroad and its adherence and appreciation for international law and standards as they apply within the U.S. The Center coordinates an ongoing series of projects, conferences, trainings and other activities to build capacity with social justice practitioners in the U.S. Trainings have focused on immigrants’ rights, criminal justice, juvenile justice, disability rights, racial profiling, human rights and the global economic crisis, housing rights and more. Where possible, the Center has also included the perspectives of practitioners from around the world to share with US-based practitioners.

Photo at right: Expert roundtable at conference entitled Beyond Roper: International Laws and Standards for the Treatment of Children in Conflict with the Law, held by the Center, in conjunction with the ACLU, Global Rights, the Open Society Institute, and Penal Reform International.

 

Local Human Rights Lawyering Project
The Center’s Local Human Rights Lawyering Project, funded by the Ford Foundation, worked with legal aid attorneys and public defenders to promote human rights at the local level in the U.S. by providing research tools, trainings, and guidelines for incorporating human rights into everyday work.

 

 



Interdisciplinary Training of Human Rights Practitioners in the U.S.
 
The Center has held a variety of trainings for U.S. practitioners on human rights–related topics spanning several legal fields, such as immigrants’ rights, criminal justice, disability rights, racial profiling, juvenile justice, human rights and the global economic crisis, housing rights, and more.

 



Shaping the Discussion on Human Rights in the U.S 
The Center has been a leading force in shaping the global conversation on emerging human rights issues in the U.S. A significant number of the Center's robust program of conferences and events focus on U.S. human rights issues.