Human Rights at Home Campaign

Initiative Type: 
Campaign

The Human Rights at Home (HuRAH) Campaign is a collaborative effort to help ensure that human rights principles, standards, and obligations are considered and implemented in all areas of domestic policy and practice by promoting the adoption of concrete accountability mechanisms in the United States.

HuRAH's Goals

  • Promoting the institutionalization, mandate expansion, and effective use of the Equality Working Group (EWG) as a federal focal point for coordination and implementation of U.S. human rights obligations including but not limited to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the Convention Against Torture (CAT), the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as promoting other domestic human rights organizing;
  • Promoting meaningful engagement with the Equality Working Group (and the range of federal actors it comprises), and coordination between the Equality Working Group and state and local agencies and officials to improve implementation of human rights obligations;
  • Promoting the development and use of other accountability structures at the federal, state, and local levels for human rights compliance including the continued support of work to reform and strengthen  the capacity of the US Civil Rights Commission and create a National Human Rights Institution; 
  • Expanding grassroots outreach, capacity, and engagement in informing and advancing human rights accountability mechanisms including the Equality Working Group; and
  • Advancing specific issue area campaigns - focused on eliminating discrimination against and criminalization of vulnerable groups - by actively working with, and promoting the strengthening of the Equality Working Group.

In 2014, HuRAH will be working with the USHRN Taskforces on ICCPR, CERD, CAT, and UPR to leverage all human rights reviews to organize for a human rights agenda in the United States including the adoption of a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice.

For HuRAH's work on Engaging State and Local Officials, please contact: Joann Kamuf Ward at jward@law.columbia.edu.

For HuRAH's work on promoting the use of the Equality Working Group, please contact: Eric Tars at etars@nlchp.org.

For HuRAH's work on engaging grassroots groups in the use of human rights mechanisms, please contact: info@ushrnetwork.org.

For HuRAH's collaborative work on reforming the US Civil Rights Commission, please contact: Deb Vagins at dvagins@dcaclu.org.

Join the HuRAH listserv

HuRAH Campaign Background and Structure

The Human Rights at Home Campaign (HuRAH Campaign) arose out of the need for a national organizing and advocacy effort to achieve greater U.S. accountability to human rights. Generating an accountability infrastructure for human rights in the United States has the potential to transform the country’s social and political landscape. HuRAH was founded in late 2008 (then as the “Campaign for a New Domestic Human Rights Agenda), to support the structural goals outlined in Catherine Powell’s “Human Rights at Home: A Domestic Policy Blueprint for the New Administration.” These goals were explicitly non-issue specific; rather they focused on developing a federal infrastructure to create human rights accountability across all issues. Campaign goals included: 1) securing an Executive Order revitalizing an Inter-Agency Working Group to serve as a human rights implementation body; 2) strengthening the capacity of state and local governments to understand and use human rights, including through improved federal coordination of, and support for, state and local human rights implementation; 3) transforming the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights into a national human rights monitoring institution; and 4) securing adoption of a National Plan of Action to fully implement International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). HuRAH developed subcommittees dedicated to each of these goals, to work towards them in a coordinated manner.

Today, HuRAH is governed by a Steering Committee comprised of the following organizations: US Human Rights Network, American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, and the Border Network for Human Rights. USHRN serves as the chair of the Steering Committee.