Take Action: Sign a Petition
Petition Name: New York City for All New Yorkers – New Yorkers call for Human Rights in New York City!
New York City has an opportunity to make history and lead the nation in promoting the human rights of New Yorkers through swift passage of the Human Rights in Government Operations Audit Law (Human Rights GOAL) or Intro 283. Passage of Human Rights GOAL would make New York City the first in the nation to locally implement principles of two human rights treaties - International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). San Francisco has already implemented CEDAW.
Dear Speaker Quinn: I am writing to request your support for swift passage of the Human Rights in Government Operations Audit Law (Human Rights GOAL) or Intro 283. Human rights GOAL would advance real on-the-ground equality for all New Yorkers by incorporating principles from two human rights treaties-the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women-in city governance.
New York is a great city known for its ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity. Yet it is also home to persistent social and economic disparities that run along lines of race, gender, immigration status and disability. These disparities are aggravated for people with other identities that make them vulnerable to discrimination such as sexual orientation and gender identity. Our current civil rights laws are strong but unfortunately inadequate in providing full equal opportunity. Human Rights GOAL is designed to eliminate unintended systemic discrimination in city policies and practices by requiring that city agencies take a more proactive approach to identifying and addressing both direct and indirect forms of discrimination. I want to live in a city that prioritizes promoting equality through governance and where everyone is guaranteed their human rights. Human Rights GOAL would take us a step closer to this ideal.
I am aware of your commitment to end any kind of discrimination in New York City, so I deeply urge you to support the passage of Intro 283. I will be following up the process of the Human Rights GOAL in the New York City Council. Thank you very much.
Petition Name: Equality in the enjoyment of economic and social rights
Petition to the Obama Administration to adopt a national plan of action to address race and gender disparities in the U.S. as recommended during the Universal Periodic Review.
Dear Harold Hongju Koh, Michael Posner, and Scott Busby: I am writing with respect to the human rights review of the U.S. government—the Universal Periodic Review which took place last November in Geneva—to encourage the Obama Administration to implement the recommendations that it accepted on March 18, 2011 to promote the equal enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights for women and people of color.
Despite progress made over the years and particularly as a result of the civil rights movement, the U.S. is still home to persistent race and gender disparities in social and economic life. These disparities reflect the inadequacy of our current legislation and strategies. The economic recession has resulted in the highest poverty rates that we have seen since 1994 and this has been felt disproportionately by people of color who saw poverty rates of 25.8% for African Americans and 25.3% for Latinos in 2009. The situation is worse for women of color particularly single parents. Almost 40% of Black and Latino single female headed households lives in poverty, and this has had a troubling impact on our nations children of color. A disturbing one in three black children lived in poverty in 2009.
Several governments made specific recommendations to address these disparities. These include:
- #92.113 made by the government of Norway: That further measures be taken in the areas of economic and social rights for women and minorities, including providing equal access to decent work and reducing the number of homeless people.
- #92.109 made by the government of Thailand: Promote equal socio-economic as well as educational opportunities for all both in law and in fact, regardless of their ethnicity, race, religion, national origin, gender or disability.
- #92.111 made by the government of Qatar: Adopt a comprehensive national work-plan to combat racial discrimination.
I commend the U.S. government for accepting these recommendations and for steps it has already taken to improve enforcement and implementation of the comprehensive Federal and State legislation and strategies that we have to combat racial discrimination. However, we need more as outlined in the March 2008 Concluding Observations from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. We must adopt affirmative policies and programs to further economic and social equality for all residents of the U.S. on the ground.
The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, Bureau of Democracy Labor and Human Rights and Office of Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, and the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the National Security Council all have an important role in ensuring that we adopt a plan of action that addresses social and economic inequality, and macroeconomic and financial policies that protect human rights. I urge you to convene an inter-agency taskforce with key staff from all federal agencies, as well as the Treasury and Federal Reserve, to adopt a national plan of action to address race and gender disparities in the U.S. Thank you for your support.