The US Human Rights Network works to build a broad-based and vibrant domestic human rights movement.
USHRN utilizes multiple approaches in its efforts to promote a rights-based discourse in the U.S., and to bring about real and sustainable positive change.
A focus is placed on supporting the capacity of individual and organizational members to utilize the human rights framework to advocate for their priority issues and on strengthening their ability to work collectively to achieve their goals. USHRN offers a practical and achievable way for grassroots organizations to collaborate and achieve synergies otherwise not possible, as illustrated by its on-going CERD and UPR projects.
In 2008 USHRN coordinated the efforts of more than 130 national, state and local organizations to provide input into the UN review of U.S. compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). Similarly, in 2010 USHRN coordinated the efforts of more than 100 such groups to influence the first UN Universal Periodic Review of U.S. government compliance with all rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Ultimately more than 400 organizations and individuals endorsed the UPR civil society reports. In both efforts local grassroots advocates, national policy groups, public interest law firms, research institutes, rights attorneys and human rights experts produced “shadow reports” that were presented to the U.N. review committees, with resulting Concluding Observations and Recommendations and Outcomes Reports reflecting concerns raised in the reports.
Member groups utilized these efforts to support their advocacy work, to support passage of an equal protection family court law in New York (CERD 2008) and to mobilize a first-time national level coalition to address violence against sex-workers (UPR 2010). Member groups continue to call for the U.S. government to adopt a National Plan of Action outlining concrete steps it will take to bring the U.S. into compliance with the CERD treaty.
USHRN members work on the full range of human rights violations suffered by many here at home.
USHRN brings members together through member meetings, conferences and other convenings, and offers a myriad of training and other capacity building opportunities throughout the year.