Thursday, July 2, 2020


What is the US Human Rights Network?

The US Human Rights Network (USHRN or Network) was formally launched in Washington DC on December 10, 2003 – International Human Rights Day.

The US Human Rights Network was formed to promote US accountability to universal human rights standards by building linkages between organizations, as well as individuals, working on human rights issues in the United States.  The Network strives towards building a human rights culture in the United States that puts those directly affected by human rights violations, with a special emphasis on grassroots organizations and social movements, in a central leadership role.  The Network also works towards connecting the US human rights movement with the broader US social justice movement and human rights movements around the world.

The principles that provide unity for the organizations and individuals that make up the Network are that:

  • human rights are interdependent and universal
  • human rights include civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights
  • human rights are protected through building social movements
  • human rights movements must ensure leadership by those directly affected
  • human rights advocacy must always respect the diversity within communities
  • human rights organizations must be financially responsible and accountable

Goals and Objectives of the USHRN

The objective of the USHRN is to establish itself as a coordinating body for US-based human rights organizations by 1) supporting collaborative efforts by human rights groups; 2) developing and disseminating models for the practical application of the human rights framework domestically; and 3) promoting capacity-building and information sharing among member organizations. The realization of this objective will position the USHRN to:

  • Increase the visibility of the US human rights movement;
  • Build the capacity of US human rights groups to carry out their work;
  • Strengthen links between US human rights activists and movements across issues and sectors of work; and
  • Link US human rights activists with the global human rights movement.

The USHRN Today

The U.S. Human Rights Network has spent much of 2004 in the planning and development phases. From its initial group of 60 founding member organizations, USHRN has expanded its membership to more than 190 organizations from across the country working on such fundamental human-rights issues as criminal justice, discrimination, health care, immigration, housing, labor and education. Having instituted an inclusive governance structure, identified key areas of activity and established a foundation for future action, the USHRN is now poised to fulfill its mission and become an effective force on the domestic human-rights scene.

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