There are many human rights organizations in the United States that work to protect the rights of all people. I’ve personally donated to the ACLU in the past and the Red Cross. I think people are more interested in law and criminal justice, though. That’s why I like the ACLU and others on this list because they are taking on the systemic injustices we’ve lived with for too long.
Rights groups are all important because they help to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and has access to the same opportunities. Some of these organizations focus on specific issues, such as women’s rights or children’s rights, while others work to promote human rights in general.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most notable human rights organizations in the United States and what they do to help fight for justice.
Human Rights Organizations
Amnesty International is an international nonprofit organization that works to protect and uphold human rights all over the globe. Founded in 1961, the organization was granted special consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1966. They use a range of tactics such as researching and developing human rights knowledge, lobbying governments for laws protecting human rights, bringing urgent attention to abuses through their online petitions and publications, and conducting direct action projects that shine a spotlight on abusers.
Efforts from Amnesty have been credited with helping bring a stop to numerous major injustices including ending torture in Northern Ireland and opposing the execution of juveniles. They continue to work hard seeking justice for those everywhere who are oppressed or deprived of basic human rights.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch works hard to protect the human rights of people all over the world, reminding governments and organizations of their duties to ensure respect for all individuals regardless of status or circumstance. Utilizing a network of researchers, advocates, and activists spread across 90 countries on six continents, Human Rights Watch conducts investigations and publicizes its findings to press for policy changes from the powerful.
Through publicity, advocacy, and education, Human Rights Watch helps to hold abusers accountable and protect those whose lives have been scarred by human rights violations. By creating awareness and calling out abuses with clear evidence, they empower people everywhere to fight back against injustice.
Southern Poverty Law Center
Founded in 1971, The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a non-profit legal advocacy organization whose mission is to fight hate and bigotry and to seek justice for the most vulnerable members of society. Through their litigation, activism, and research they challenge discriminatory laws and practices which are rooted in bias or injustice. The SPLC also provides educational resources to assist teachers and parents in countering prejudices, teaching children to respect diversity, and promoting peace and empathy in our communities.
They have shown unwavering commitment to civil rights during some of the darkest times in our nation’s history, such as their important work during the civil rights movement. With considerable success through various landmark court cases, the SPLC continues its trailblazing efforts today standing firm on its mission of creating a just society by using the law as a tool for social change.
The ACLU, or American Civil Liberties Union, is a non-profit organization that works hard to defend individual rights and liberties as outlined in the United States Constitution. Founded in 1920, the organization seeks to ensure no one is treated unfairly on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other factor. Their work takes place through litigation, advocacy, and education to secure our constitutional freedoms from threats both big and small.
From challenging racial injustice in Wisconsin to protesting Guantanamo Bay’s detention facility, they are never afraid to champion unpopular causes and stand up for what’s right. In short, the ACLU provides an invaluable service by vigorously protecting all of us against government abuse and overreach.
Freedom House is an organization that works to defend democracy, promote human rights, and protect civil liberties around the world. It evaluates countries and governments on how free they are. Through its research, analysis, and advocacy efforts, Freedom House strives to foster democracies in areas where basic political and civil rights are either denied or under attack. Its mission is to stand up for people regardless of who they are or what their ethnicity is. It has been advocating for freedom since 1941 when it started during World War II as a way to track Nazi propaganda disseminated around the globe.
Since then, Freedom House has earned a reputation for assessing conditions in nearly every corner of the world and continues to be recognized as a major pillar of democracy promotion efforts.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a historic civil rights organization that has long been defending racial justice since 1909. They were founded during a time when African Americans were being denied basic human and civil rights, making it essential to have an organization dedicated to fighting against inequality and injustice.
By working with passionate activists, powerful lawyers, and influential leaders of many communities, the NAACP plays a major role in advocating for social change. From obtaining voting rights and ending police brutality to assisting prisoners wrongfully convicted of crimes, their work continues to break down barriers and open paths toward a more equitable society.
Council on American-Islamic Relations
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is an organization devoted to civil rights advocacy for American Muslims. Founded in 1994 in the wake of a wave of discrimination and bigotry, CAIR works directly with members of the Muslim community and allies to protect their rights within the United States as well as offering support services like legal defense resources and interfaith dialogue programs.
Beyond this work, CAIR also works with other like-minded groups to challenge Islamophobia at its roots by educating through media campaigns about the positive contributions of Muslims to American society. In short, CAIR is dedicated to creating a strong, unified American Muslim identity by strengthening their rights through civil engagement efforts.
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is a leading civil rights organization that has been advocating for LGBTQ individuals and their families since 1980. Through extensive research and advocacy, they have successfully fought hard to achieve equal rights and justice for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. They strive to bring a better and brighter future for the LGBTQ community through inspiring dialogue, and meaningful connections with lawmakers and networks on the local level.
They are actively engaging in conversations to make progress on transgender equality, youth empowerment, immigration reform, and racial justice. The Human Rights Campaign provides visibility, education, and resources to create change in our society so all people can live their authentic lives with dignity.
National Immigration Law Center
Established in 1994, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) has worked tirelessly for more than 25 years to advance the rights of immigrants of all backgrounds and identities. From supporting immigrant workers’ rights to fighting unjust immigration laws, NILC has become a powerhouse organization in defending the rights of those facing legal barriers in America. Not only do they work to promote awareness of federal and state immigration law, but they also provide a safe haven for advocacy regarding immigration-related legislation.
NILC consistently seeks new ways to better serve immigrants through litigation, policy analysis, and advocacy campaigns that strive towards a more encompassing definition of justice within our society. They also provide resources such as deportation defense guides and support services to those who need assistance with navigating the complex legal system surrounding immigration. By supporting the ideals held by NILC, we can stand together to ensure that justice is served for all immigrants entering or residing in our nation.
The human rights groups listed above are a small sample of what activists can accomplish if we all worked together. Instead of fighting or focusing on drama, we could be looking to the people out there trying to do good. Let’s all take some time to share some of their inspiration today.