The Chicago Independent Human Rights Council’s mission is to make known and advocate on behalf of human rights, human rights issues and human rights infractions that directly impact people in the U.S.
The Council has consistently been active in advocating for human rights of all people across issue areas. They have focused during the housing crisis on the disenfranchised and homeless via the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign. Another focus has been on the divestment of urban youth in the U.S. The lack of constructive choices available to urban youth have resulted in a nation of "child soldiers" sort to speak in our urban communities.
The Chicago Independent Human Rights Council (CIHRC) is beginning a campaign to use the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which offers protection for children in armed conflict to influence domestic legislation. The CRC offers an opportunity to educate the public and elected officials on how poverty and violence disproportionately affecting youth of color in Chicago can be addressed thru the enforcement of human rights. The CRC has been adopted locally by Chicago’s City Council and provides an opportunity for CIHRC to work to hold them accountable to all articles being violated. The CRC also provides an opportunity to address closing public schools, the school to prison pipeline, the lack of access to adequate housing, and offers a chance to have public dialogue around violence and “gangs” in a human right context. Upholding the Convention on the Rights of the Child can offer solutions instead of youth being criminalized.
The Chicago Independent Human Rights Council has been able to transform dozens of groups who now use human rights organizing in their advocacy work. Based on the experience of coordinating two UN missions to Chicago (ICERD and Housing) they plan to invite the UN special rappatuer on Children to the U.S. The Council works with youth groups and youth organizers who helped to draft the CRC locally.