Founded in 1980, Human Rights Advocates (HRA) is a human rights organization dedicated to promoting and protecting international human rights in the United States and abroad. Through diligent and consistent advocacy at the United Nations and national level, HRA has positively influenced the development of international human rights law in the fields of juvenile justice, corporate responsibility, ethical business practices, housing, land, and food rights. In addition, by utilizing human rights norms in national and local courts, HRA has advanced the application of human rights law in achieving justice for individuals here in the US.
HRA is unique among influential human rights organizations in that it has no paid staff. The advocacy work is done primarily by law students. Each year, second and third year law students in the University of San Francisco (USF) School of Law's Human Rights Clinic represent HRA at sessions of the UN Human Rights Council and UN Commission on the Status of Women. These students do exceptional work, researching the issues and determining advocacy strategies to ensure that human rights standards are strengthened to protect peoples' rights.
HRA has added a second component to provide students a role as human rights advocates. For the last five years, HRA has awarded the Edith Coliver Human Rights Fellowship to an exceptional law school graduate to work with a human rights organzation and/or lawyer, to gain on the ground experience in human rights work. The Fellowship honors Edith Coliver, a refugee from Nazi Germany who settled in San Francisco, who dedicated much of her life to promoting human rights and democracy around the world.
Our Fellows have worked with communities in Nepal, investigated land rights and food insecurity in Ghana, fought for asylum rights for migrants in San Francisco, and defended Haitian women's rights.
This year, the Fellow will work together with the Indigenous World Association (IWA). The Indigenous World Association is a small organization of indigenous and other individuals, formed in 1982 with a focus on work in indigenous communities to advocate on behalf of indigenous peoples’ human rights.
The Fellow will promote the return of cultural patrimony to indigenous peoples, primarily in the United States. Specifically, the Fellow will research domestic and international law concerning transfer, sale, and return of cultural patrimony of indigenous peoples in the United States.
In the last two years, Southwestern U.S. native nations have made the news as they confronted international auction houses that have possession of sacred items and have sold them in private auction houses, especially in Paris. In an effort to provide assistance in this area, the Fellow will develop strategies to assist indigenous peoples in the return of these items, and defend their rights to these items under domestic and international law. The work will result in recommendations for how indigenous peoples can effectively use domestic and international law to promote their rights to return of cultural patrimony, including implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
An HRA Fellow is paid a modest stipend of $2500 to offset living costs. The Fellowship period is three months in the fall.
Our goal is $2500 to support this years Fellow.
Please help us reach our goal!
Your tax-deductible donation of any amount is greatly appreciated and will directly support the work of an HRA fellow in 2016! Your donation will help to enable the Fellows to gain experience in the field of human rights, to learn from their experiences to be better advocates in the future, and to protect and promote stricter adherence to international human rights standards for communities in the future.
Thank you for your support, and please help us spread the word about this special fundraising campaign!