Our Work


How we work

USHRN organizational structure and work areas


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. 

In 2019, USHRN is working to deepen our relationship with individual and organizational members to build a strong human rights movement able to respond to this unique moment in history. Our work will focus on providing human rights education for members, campaign support and training for member organizations and the use of international human rights mechanisms as organizing and campaign tools.

Pursuant to our mission of building a people centered human rights movement and our strategy of providing human rights education, campaign support and utilizing human rights mechanisms, the USHRN is structured in the following manner:




Membership. Membership is at the center of our work to build a people centered human rights movement. Even when we engage in activities other than building membership, those activities ultimately orbit around and serve our members. There are also specific Member Structures designed to benefit members.

International Mechanisms. Mechanisms are functions of declarations, treaties, conventions, rapporteurs, councils, committees or working groups of the United Nations, Organization of American States or other human rights bodies. International Mechanisms are used to advance specific human rights issues, through campaigns, or the work and campaigns of USHRN members.

Human Rights Education. The USHRN provided human rights education to the general public and to long time organizers looking to deepen their understanding of the human rights framework and mechanisms. Education can take the form of webinars, online classes, presentations, essays, reports and other formats and can be customized for beginners all the way to expert level.

Human Rights Campaigns. In addition to the occasional self-initiated campaign, the USHRN provides member organizations with a broad range of technical support for their human rights campaigns, including training on human rights and technical support on the nuts and bolts of organizing a people centered movement.

Thought Leadership. In these turbulent times, the importance of clear analysis and use of the human rights framework is more important than ever. As such, the USHRN will attempt to provide some 'thought leadership' to the social justice movement on a range of issues, topics and events. This leadership will manifest in the form of reports, presentations, speeches, education and strategic intervention in movement spaces.


The solar system is a metaphor for the organizational structure of the US Human Rights Network, with members serving as the sun.