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US National Human Rights Cities Alliance

The US Human Rights Cities Alliance works to build a network of local and national/international human rights leaders and support activists and organizers in work that advances the human rights city organizing framework. The Alliance promotes and supports the development and sharing of models and best practices for strengthening respect for human rights and dignity. We work to connect local grassroots activists and organizers with global human rights and human rights cities movements, and support relevant action in the United Nations and other human rights institutions.

We advance people-centered human rights that emerge from the experiences and struggles of marginalized communities. We like to say that “human rights don’t trickle down, they rise up!” In other words, it takes communities organizing and acting together to “bring human rights home.” The US Human Rights Cities Alliance has put forward the following Human Rights Cities Statement of Principles to guide our work. The US Human Rights Cities Network operates in cooperation with the US Human Rights Network, a national network of organizations and individuals working to strengthen a human rights movement and culture within the United States led by the people most directly impacted by human rights violations.

Events

  • Building a Human Rights Cities Movement Against Structural Racism, Thursday, July 9 4:00PM-5:30PM EDT Download flier

Black resistances to dismantle violent police repression in the crux of the pandemic in the United States have inspired a global wave of resistance to both the immediate threats from violent police repression, and to the wider systemic forces that drive racial inequities and are fueling what UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, E. Tendayi Achiume has called “a human rights crisis of existential proportions.” The global community has become activated like never before to demand accountability and transformative changes to address long-standing injustices. This webinar will offer context and clarity to help community leaders and activists learn how global human rights law and institutions can support our movements for fundamental changes in the United States. Participants will learn more about organizing work to hold local and national authorities accountable to global human rights, and how this can empower communities seeking dignity and justice for all people, organizations and local governments on activating global human rights mechanisms to usher in fundamental changes within the U.S. and globally. Speakers: Ahmed Reid Chair, UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent; Ejim Dike, former Executive Director, US Human Rights Network; Jamil Dakwar ACLU Human Rights Program Director; Facilitators: Johnaca Dunlap-Ubuntu Institute & US Human Rights Cities Alliance Steering Committee; Rob Robinson-International Alliance of Inhabitants & US Human Rights Cities Alliance Steering Committee. To join webinar: https://pitt.zoom.us/j/94686420298

Download slideshow with links to helpful resources for fighting structural racism!


Current Work

  • Recordings of past webinars


  • NEW: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Calls for Greater Coordination with Local Governments & Civil Society. In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights clarifies the important role of local governments in the implementation of international human rights standards, providing reports and recommendations for actions by local and national governments. Many of these recommendations complement the work we are doing in the Human Rights Cities movement and the UPR Cities project. Download Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Local Government and Human Rights

We work to realize human rights by:

  • Engaging, connecting and mobilizing communities, Peoples, workers, and diverse sectors across issue areas, constituencies, and regions to uphold and defend human rights and hold government accountable;
  • Building the capacity and leadership of grassroots groups and individuals to effectively apply the human rights framework in developing strategy and making long-term structural shifts to achieve justice;
  • Raising the visibility of local human rights concerns and activism to shape the public discourse locally, nationally, and internationally; and
  • Facilitating effective collective action to secure the structural change needed to fully realize human rights.

The US Human Rights Network is guided by these core principles:

  • Human rights are universal, interdependent, indivisible, and inalienable.
  • Human rights movements must be led by those most directly affected by human rights violations.
  • Human rights advocacy and organizing should prioritize the struggles of the poor and most marginalized groups in society.
  • Human rights movements must be inclusive and respect and reflect the diversity within communities.
  • Human rights encompass civil, political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, sexual, and development rights for individuals, Peoples, and groups.

For a more elaborated version see our: Statement of Principles.

UPR Cities Project and Toolkit

International Human Rights Monitoring

This page links to work by national and international human rights organizers to use international treaties and United Nations human rights review processes to hold local and national officials in the United States accountable to our international human rights obligations.

Housing is a Human Right!

Educational and Outreach Tools

Reports and Documentation