Human rights standards provide an avenue of response to social injustice when national, state, and local laws and processes fail. The Human Rights Project attempts to situate domestic poverty and discrimination issues within a human rights framework. While international human rights groups abound, we are one of only a handful of organizations in the United States working to analyze domestic social policy in this manner.
Our work represents a unique and creative attempt to push for a higher standard of government accountability than U.S. legislation typically allows. For example, the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a host of international treaties articulate the right to basic necessities such as food, housing, health, and employment. However, U.S. safety net programs and laws do not clearly acknowledge these rights, and often circumvent or disregard them.
The Human Rights Project works to:
- Educate local legislators, media, and the public about our government’s role in advancing or restricting human rights.
- Equip advocates with human rights tools, models and networks.
- Inspire positive action and collaboration.
- Develop and share models for using human rights to demand higher standards of government accountability at local and national levels.
New York City Council Human Rights Report Card
On Tuesday, March 25th, the Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center will release its sixth annual New York City Council Human Rights Report Card. The Report Card is the only comprehensive assessment of New York City Council members' legislative records across a range of human rights areas including housing, workers' rights, justice, health, disability rights, government accountability, and voting rights. It brings a human rights framework to the examination of City Council, which has the power and responsibility to address the inequities that plague New York City. It is a tool to hold Council members, and the Council as a legislative body, accountable and to help us move toward a City in which all have their human rights fulfilled.
Please join us at 3:00 PM on March 25 for an hour-long webinar on this important publication. We look forward to your participation! The Report Card is only as strong as its audience.
The hour-long webinar will discuss:
- The human rights framework, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW);
- Report Card methodology;
- The top scoring Council members in 2013;
- The legislative trends of human rights bills;
- The implications of Council's land use and budget work on human rights.
For more information, download the flyer. Also, please feel free to disseminate and spread the word!
2012 Human Rights Report Card
Please click here to download the 2012 New York City Council Human Rights Report Card, available for a suggested donation of $10. You will be prompted to enter your password. To register for a password, and for more information about the Report Card, please visit: http://www.hrpujc.org/councilwatch.html.
2014 Human Rights Institute
The Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center, in partnership with the US Human Rights Network, is pleased to announce the ninth annual Human Rights Institute, to be held April 2-4, 2014 in New York City.
About the Human Rights Institute
“I have learned so much through the Institute. It has absolutely deepened my commitment to utilizing a human rights framework in my work ...”
— 2013 HRI participant
The annual Human Rights Institute promotes good governance and social change by training a select group of participants from around the country to strengthen their local advocacy efforts by using a human rights frame. Institute Alumni become part of a nationwide community of human rights advocates and have access to ongoing human rights education, technical support, and dialogue.
The application period is now closed.
Click here to subscribe to The Human Rights Project's e-newsletter to receive weekly human rights update.
News and Events
Thank you for joining us December 2nd for the panel
on the Future of the Council:
A Discussion Between Leading Candidates for NYC Council Speaker
This event was presented by Common Cause/NY, the Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center (HRP), and New York Law School's Center for New York City Law.
If you missed it, click here for a video feed of the event.
Discussion on the Future of NYC Council
On the evening of Monday, December 2nd, the Human Rights Project (HRP) along with Common Cause/NY and New York Law School/Center for New York City Law, held a roundtable at New York Law School with six New York City Council members -Inez Dickens, Daniel Garodnick, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Annabel Palma, James Vacca, and Mark Weprin – on the future of the City Council. The roundtable, moderated by Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY and Christina Greer, Fordham University Professor, featured an in-depth discussion on the Council's rules and operations going forward, touching on topics including discretionary funds, the progression of legislation, the roles of Council, working with Mayor Elect DeBlasio, and the incoming 21 Council members. HRP Director Shani Jamila provided opening and concluding remarks. A video of the event is available at CitylandNYC.org. Audio of the event may be accessed here.