Advocating for Women's Human Rights

UN Advocacy
The United Nations and the world's regional human rights bodies work to protect, monitor, and advance human rights. Women's human rights are an important part of this work. Parties subject to international and regional human rights treaties are required to submit to international tribunals regular reports detailing their compliance.

The international human rights system depends on the active participation of civil society, including NGOs, nonprofits, the academic community, and activists. By providing credible examples of human rights violations, participants draw attention to systemic problems and help end human rights violations. Learn more.

Ending Sex Trafficking in MN
The Advocates plays a critical role in combatting sex trafficking. In Minnesota, The Advocates worked to draft and help pass the 2011 Safe Harbor Act, a law that protects sex trafficking's youngest victims. Not satisfied, The Advocates zeroed in on expanding the law's protections to all children under 18, and drafted the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force's 2013 legislative agenda. What resulted was the 2013 Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Act, which went into effect on August 1, 2014. The law drastically changed how Minnesota views prostitution and responses to sexually exploited youth. Using delinquency proceedings to punish prostituted children has ended, and a new victim-centered response has been established to meet their needs. Minnesota's laws now serve as a model for the U.S. government and states.

The Advocates participated in the creation of the victim-centered responsereferred to as the "No Wrong Door Model"and published Safe Harbor: Fulfilling Minnesota's Promise to Protect Sexually Exploited Youth, a report on the process.

To ensure the law's effective implementation, we train health care providers, educators, lawyers, social services, and advocacy groups throughout Minnesota on how using the Safe Harbor law. The Safe Harbor law ensures that girls and boys under age 18 involved in sex trafficking are treated as victims, not criminals. The law, spearheaded by The Advocates, mandates that they receive the medical care, education, psychological services, and other help they need. Our multi-pronged initiative to combat sex trafficking has led to stronger tools for Minnesota prosecutors to use when they handle sex trafficking cases. Learn more.

Read or download the report, Sex Trafficking Needs Assessment for the State of Minnesota. Read or download the report's executive summary

Learn more about what you can do to prevent sex trafficking in Minnesota with The Advocates' Sex Trafficking and Safe Harbor Resource Pack. The packet provides accessible, consistent information about sex trafficking and the Safe Harbor law including a PowerPoint presentation, supplemental handouts, and resources for specific systems professionals.