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Human Rights in the United States
  Sex Trafficking Needs Assessment
In the United States, violations of human rights are something many consider to be an issue that is only faced by people in foreign countries - not by people here at home. Ensuring that human rights are always protected, however, is just as important here as it is in other countries. Since 9/11, especially, there have been harmful breakdowns in the protection of basic civil rights and civil liberties. Early on, the United States was an important leader in the creation of the international system for protecting and promoting human rights. However, often times, the U.S. policies and actions have not always been consistent with these standards. While the United States has ratified some of the international human rights treaties, there are still many that are still not ratified. And, for many of the treaties that the U.S. has not ratified, it remains in the minority. In addition, the United States often fails to comply with the obligations of the treaties that we have ratified.
 
The Advocates for Human Rights is dedicated to promoting essential human rights not only abroad, but here at home. We actively work to promote and protect human rights in the United States. We make sure that this is addressed in all of our areas of programming. We place particular focus on human rights education; abolishing capital punishment; documenting post-9/11 human rights abuses; fact-finding and reporting on violations of women’s human rights; and protecting the rights of non-citizens.
 
New U.S. focused initiatives by The Advocates include:
 
OneVoice Minnesota: An initiative to end anti-immigration bias within Minnesota. It is a network of community members, organizations, groups, and institutions across the state that is interested in building welcoming communities for immigrants.
 
Death Penalty: In 1991, The Advocates' Death Penalty Project was organized in order to recruit Minnesota attorneys who could to respond to the need of assisting death row inmates with their post-conviction appeals. Often times in the United States, there is capricious and arbitrary administration of the death penalty. It is part of The Advocates formal commitment to oppose the death penalty worldwide. 
 
Post 9/11: In response to post-9/11 backlash, The Advocates for Human Rights conducted research and authored the report, Voices from Silence: Personal Accounts of the Long-Term Impact of 9/11, which details the personal stories of fear and discrimination experienced by immigrants, refugees, and religious minorities in Minnesota.
 
Energy of a Nation: A website created by The Advocates to be an online immigration resource center. It contains accurate, up-to-date information and resources for educators, advocates, and community members by providing fact sheets, curricula, quizzes, action alerts, policy updates, and immigration-related news and events.
 
Safe Harbors: An initiative made in collaboration by The Advocates, legislators, and community organizers that is designed to combat the sexual exploitation of children in Minnesota and the United States. The intiative's latest success was the passing of a law in Mid- 2011 that no longer criminalized commercially sexually exploited children, and in addition, provides a series of protections for them.
 
Stop Violence Against Women: A project created to promote women’s rights both internationally and domestically. It is an online forum that provides information, advocacy, and change in the promotion of these rights.