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12.15.2022

Coalition Letter to Susan Rice on Establishment of Domestic Human Rights Institution

Last October, President Biden proclaimed that the United States must demonstrate that its “commitment to human rights begins at home.” We, the undersigned, strongly support that sentiment and believe that this principle – that human rights begin at home – should be the basis for a bold approach to ensuring that everyone in the United States enjoys the rights and freedoms guaranteed by international human rights law.

The United States has been a historic leader in the global effort to establish universal standards of human rights protection, beginning with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. At the same time, while state and local authorities have increasingly looked to human rights standards to improve the lives of people, the federal government has not comprehensively integrated the United States’ human rights obligations into domestic law and policy and has resisted efforts to create domestic human rights monitoring, enforcement, and accountability mechanisms. Thus, as we mark the adoption of the Universal Declaration seventy-four years ago this month, we urge the Biden administration to make good on the President’s words by reinvigorating that leadership and starting the process of establishing a National Human Rights Institution (“NHRI”).

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