In a survey conducted by Ipsos, researchers found that 83% of Americans strongly agreed that it is essential to have a law that protects human rights in the United States. However, researchers uncovered that 36% of survey respondents admitted that they have little-to-no knowledge about human rights.
Human rights cover a variety of offenses including human trafficking, sexual assault, religious discrimination, prisoner mistreatment, and immigrant rights. Protecting human rights helps create a more equitable society, and it can start right here in New York. Expand your knowledge on the issues and support human rights by getting involved with these five NYC organizations.
Discover Human Rights Organizations in NYC
Founded in 2005 to raise awareness of the 21st-Century genocide in Darfur, 3 Generations documents stories of human rights abuses on film. Their efforts help survivors of human rights abuse heal by allowing them to record their experiences. By voicing their stories, survivors help to raise awareness of the injustice done to them and encourage a call-to-action for change.
At the heart of 3 Generations mission is storytelling. Using mediums such as social media, film festivals, educational outreach, private film screenings, web channels, partnerships, and more, 3 Generations uses the power of stories to influence the national dialogue on human rights and advocate for social change. By collecting and sharing stories, 3 Generations honors those who died, provides survivors an outlet to heal, and makes their stories permanently available to viewers around the world.
Amnesty International USA
For over 50 years, Amnesty International has inspired communities to get involved and advocate for human rights. Their mission is to protect human dignity, with a specific focus on the rights of minority groups such as women and children, refugees, indigenous people, and the ethnically or religiously marginalized.
Amnesty International’s global community, the Urgent Action Network, is just one way to support Amnesty in their fight for human rights. With members around the globe, the Urgent Action Network leverages social media, phone calls, and emails to effect change in their local areas. With Amnesty International, volunteers can put a spotlight on human rights abuse and hold people accountable to rectify the injustices happening in their city.
For Freedoms is an organization inspired by American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedom (1941) - freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. For Freedoms creates a platform for creative civic engagement, discourse, and direct action to advocate for equality and public participation.
For Freedoms hosts exhibitions, installations, and public programs to deepen open discussions on civic issues and the human rights to the four freedoms referenced in its name. Through hundreds of concurrent programs, For Freedoms examined the country’s collective freedoms and experiments with new creative forms of dialogue in the months leading up to critical elections.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch believes that all human beings are entitled to fundamental rights. But in many countries, those rights are abused, and people suffer as a result. Based in New York City, Human Rights Watch and its over 400 staff members work tirelessly to promote human rights and actively defend the rights of individuals in the city and around the globe.
Human Rights Watch partners with local organizations, leverages media outlets, make recommendations to governments, and takes other critical actions in order to put pressure on human rights abusers. Among others, the organization has been involved in the fight to end child labor, closing Guantanamo detention, and banning land mines.
Every day, human rights activists and citizens are risking their lives to expose human rights abuses in our country. WITNESS ensures their efforts aren’t in vain. Founded in 1992, WITNESS uses video and tech to bring awareness to human rights issues. They shine a light on everyday injustices within the America borders. With the right tools, networks, and guidance, WITNESS believes anyone can be an advocate for human rights. WITNESS hopes to be that resource, so more people will get involved in defending human rights.
In partnership with local citizens and organizations, WITNESS conducts on-the-ground training and provides free, multi-language resources on how to advocate for human rights. Their efforts help individuals safely document human rights violations and use the footage to raise awareness and promote positive change in their communities.
In America, the Constitution outlines a number of inalienable human rights intended to protect its citizens’ freedoms. Similarly, the United Nations recognizes the universal “right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more… without discrimination.”
Subscribe to the NYXT newsletter
Learn about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and new organizations looking for your help.