Civil rights and human rights have always been intertwined. At the heart of the civil rights movement is the basic human dignity of all people and their right to live in freedom and with justice and equal opportunity.
October 29, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
A recent study by the Center for Constitutional Rights found that the New York City Police Department has been conducting its stop-question-and-frisk policy in a manner consistent with racial profiling.
October 25, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
This article was written by Don Kraus, chief executive officer of Citizens for Global Solutions, and is cross-posted from Global Solutions Blog. Citizens for Global Solutions is a membership organization that envisions a world where nations work together to abolish war, protect our rights and freedoms, and solve the problems facing humanity that no nation can solve alone. It works to build political will in the United States to achieve this vision.
Today we recognize the 65th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. The world has changed dramatically since October 24th, 1945 when 51 nations banded together "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war." Those intervening 65 years were perhaps the most consequential in the entire history of humanity and the U.N. has played a vital role.
August 26, 2010 - Posted by Avril Lighty
On Saturday, August 28, faith leaders and civil and human rights advocates will gather at Shiloh Baptist Church to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and commit themselves to renewed activism for social justice.
July 30, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
During a recent appearance in Washington, D.C., Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, discussed the Obama administration's approach to human rights and foreign policy, and he identified the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as a priority.
May 24, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Human and civil rights groups are calling on President Obama to issue an executive order that holds the United States accountable for its human rights commitments.
December 18, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations' adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) – a comprehensive international treaty that outlines standards for ratifying countries to meet in the treatment and rights of women.
CEDAW is a critical tool that countries can use to promote the adoption of national laws, policies, and practices to ensure that women and girls live free from violence, have access to quality education, and have the right to participate fully in the economic, political, and social sectors of their society.
Ratifying countries must report to the U.N. every four years on their compliance with the treaty. It has been ratified by 186 countries. The United States is one of only seven countries that have not, along with Sudan, Iran, and Somalia.
The Leadership Conference is currently leading a campaign to urge the U.S. to ratify CEDAW. U.S. ratification of the treaty is critical to advancing women's rights and to restoring the credibility of the U.S. as a country committed to protecting human rights at home and abroad.
December 16, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference, testified this morning before the Senate Subcommittee on Human Rights about how a greater U.S. commitment to its international human rights obligations can strengthen civil rights at home.
The U.S. is a party to U.N. treaties and resolutions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Henderson said that if Congress played a more active role in pushing the U.S. to honor its human rights obligations, then more progress could be made on a number of critical domestic civil rights issues, including:
December 10, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
The Leadership Conference President and CEO Wade Henderson shaking hands with other guests at the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights' annual International Human Rights Day program on December 10, 2009.
The Leadership Conference's president and CEO, Wade Henderson, received the Cornelius R. "Neil" Alexander Humanitarian Award today from the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights and the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights for his commitment to advancing the civil and human rights of all Americans.
"The fact that this award commemorates Neil Alexander means a great deal to me. As the human rights commission's chief hearing officer for 20 years, Neil Alexander was a tireless and largely unsung champion of civil and human rights. Our city and the struggle for equal justice benefitted immensely from his legal expertise and his leadership in enforcing the District's human rights law," Henderson said in his acceptance speech.
August 12, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
In his official statement for International Youth Day, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon praised young people around the world for their advocacy of sustainability issues despite the many challenges they face:
"[Y]oung people have proven themselves to be key partners in sustainable development. They have gotten involved in international forums such as the Commission on Sustainable Development, and have helped their governments and communities to formulate poverty reduction strategies, entrepreneurial schemes and many other policies and initiatives.
The sustainability theme is being incorporated into global and local efforts through an international photo competition entitled "Shoot Nations". A selection of photographs presented to the United Nations are on display at U.N. Headquarters in New York City through August 14.
July 28, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
President Obama recently announced that the United States will sign on to the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at a ceremony commemorating the 19th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
"Until every American with a disability can learn in their local public school in the manner best for them, until they can apply for a job without fear of discrimination, and live and work independently in their communities if that's what they choose, we've got more work to do," said Obama.
Under the Convention, signatory nations are required to prohibit discrimination based on disability in employment, education, housing, medical care, and other areas and ensure that mass media like television, newspapers, and the internet is provided in accessible formats for the visually and hearing impaired. Nations are also required to collect data and research on people with disabilities to track and eliminate disparities in opportunity. A U.N. committee will monitor compliance with the treaty and review a comprehensive report to be submitted by signatory nations at least every four years.
In the fall of 2008, Congress overwhelmingly passed and President Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, which overturned recent Supreme Court decisions that had reduced protections for certain people with disabilities – including people with diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, mental disabilities, and cancer – who were intended to be covered by the original ADA. According to the Census Bureau, more than 54 million people in the U.S., or 19 percent of the population, have some level of a disability.
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