On human rights, the United States must be a beacon. America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values.More
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About Us

American Ideals. Universal Values.

On human rights, the United States must be a beacon. Activists fighting for freedom around the globe continue to look to our country for inspiration and count on us for support. Upholding human rights is not only a moral obligation; it’s a vital national interest: America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values.

Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. We believe American leadership is essential in the global struggle for human rights, so we press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they fail, we step in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Around the world, we work where we can best harness American influence to secure core freedoms.

We know it is not enough to expose and protest injustice, so we create the political environment and policy solutions necessary to ensure consistent respect for human rights. Whether we are protecting refugees, combating torture, or defending persecuted minorities, we focus not on making a point, but on making a difference. For more than 35 years, we’ve built bipartisan coalitions and teamed up with frontline activists and lawyers to tackle global challenges that demand American leadership.

Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York, Washington D.C. and Houston. To maintain our independence, we accept no government funding.

Annual Reports & Financials

Human Rights First 2015 Annual Report Cover

Our Campaigns

As we challenge the United States to respect its ideals, our goal is not to make a point but to make a difference—to get concrete results that have a tangible impact on people’s lives. To that end, we conduct campaigns in pursuit of specific goals. And we urge you to participate in our campaigns so that policy makers in Washington hear from citizen-champions of human rights.

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Success Stories

We fight for asylum seekers—and against the detention of families and children In 2014-15, tens of thousands of people—many of them children—fled brutal gang and domestic violence in Central...
We secured a landmark law solidifying the ban on this abhorrent practice More than a decade ago, we began building a coalition of distinguished military leaders to challenge the damaging...

Learn More about the Human Rights First Award Dinner