• December 9, 2020 | 5:30 PM CST

    Join us December 9, the eve of Human Rights Day, as we celebrate our Future We Build Together Global Challenge. This year has test us all, but we have come together in solidarity with one another and will celebrate our collective work to advance human rights and dignity for all.

    Thank you for standing with us in 2020 and beyond.

    The global virtual event will begin at 5:30 PM CST. Executive Director Kenneth Roth and Chief Programs Officer Tirana Hassan will address why this moment is unlike any other for the human rights movement.

    The program will also include a special surprise musical performance to celebrate our Future We Build Together Global Challenge.

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  • The Chicago Committee of Human Rights Watch hosted its first online screening and Q&A on May 8, 2020, with ANOTE'S ARK. The film by Matthieu Rytz profiles the impact of climate change on the island nation of Kiribati, which is danger of disappearing underwater as a result of rising sea levels. The Q&A featured Matthieu Rytz and Human Rights Watch Senior Environment and Human Rights Researcher Felix Horne.


  • Join Margaret Wurth, Senior Researcher with the Children's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, and Terry Cosgrove, President and CEO of PersonalPAC, for a briefing and discussion on the state of abortion laws in the United States and Illinois.

    Hosted by Jerry Newton, Weinberg/Newton Gallery, and Human Rights Watch.

    Thursday, February 13 | 5:00pm
    Weinberg/Newton Gallery
    688 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60642

  • Join Human Rights Watch, the Chicago Community Bond Fund, and the Illinois Justice Project for a Panel Discussion at Weinberg/Newton Gallery Wednesday, October 2nd to expose and elucidate algorithm based pre-trial risk assessment tools and their role in national and regional bond reform debate.

    John Raphling, Senior Researcher on Criminal Justice, Human Rights Watch
    Sharlyn Grace, Executive Director, Chicago Community Bond Fund
    Sharone Mitchell Jr., Deputy Director, Illinois Justice Project
    Antonio Gutierrez, Organized Communities Against Deportations

    Moderated by
    Laura S. Washington, Moderator, In These Times Contributing Editor, Columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and political analyst for ABC 7-Chicago

  • Human Rights Watch returns to EXPO CHICAGO in partnership with Weinberg/Newton Gallery to present A Flight into the Abyss, an interdisciplinary site-specific installation by Chicago-based artist Maryam Taghavi.

  • We are delighted to invite you to support the global movement for human rights at the Voices for Justice Dinner Wednesday, November 6, 2019.  For more than 40 years, Human Rights Watch has been at the forefront of the human rights movement to advance fundamental values of justice, dignity, and compassion. This year, we are particularly proud to celebrate our tenacious Children’s Rights Division and the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    Donate or register here.

  • In light of the commission's formation, US Program Senior Researcher John Raphling has written to share Human Rights Watch's findings and recommendations regarding pretrial incarceration, money bail, and risk assessment tools. While endorsing the adoption of pretrial reforms so as to mitigate the harm caused by the money bail system, the letter warns against the use of risk assessment tools as a shortcut to this goal, citing their inherent racial and class bias as well as their poor track record with reductions in pretrial incarceration rates.

    Read the letter here.

  • Carlos Hernandez Vazquez, a 16-year-old Guatemalan teenager, died in a Border Patrol shelter in Texas last week, making him the third child to die in Customs and Border Protection custody in six months. There were 56 deaths in ICE custody during the Obama administration. And next month will mark one year since President Trump issues an executive order to end his administration's policy of separating families at the border — though a similar scheme may soon be initiated, wherein immigrant parents will choose either to be separated from their children or to waive their children’s rights so they can be sent to jail together. These are the issues to which Clara Long, a senior researcher with the US Program at Human Rights Watch, dedicates her work. Long focuses on U.S. immigration and border policy and wrote in February about ICE force-feeding detainees who were on a hunger strike in Texas. She joins Worldview to provide an update on the human rights abuses that immigrants to America continue to endure at the border and beyond.

    Listen to the interview here.

  • Jo Becker Fights For Children’s Rights Worldwide

    At least 14 children were killed in a blast near a school in Yemen this April. Girls from Myanmar are regularly trafficked to China as brides. In Iraq, children suspected of ISIS involvement, sometimes incorrectly, are arrested or worse. These are merely a few of the threats children around the world face. Human Rights Watch aims to bring attention to these children’s plight and advocate on their behalf so that conditions might change. The issues on which the organization focuses include child marriage, sexual abuse, lack of access to education and corporal punishment, among others. Jo Becker is the advocacy director for the Children's Rights Division for Human Rights Watch. She joins Worldview to talk through some of the human rights abuses children face and how we can work toward a better world for all children. Becker’s 2017 book is Campaigning for Children: Strategies for Advancing Children's Rights.

    Listen to the interview here.

  • Phil Robertson, Deputy Director, Asia Divison, sat down with Steve Bynum on Chicago's WBEZ radio station to give an update on Human Rights in East Asia. Their talk covered issues and current cases of dentention, asylum, and capital punishment. Tune in here to take a listen!

  • Last week, more than a dozen Chicago Committee members attended a briefing with Phil Robertson, Deputy Director, Asia Division for Human Rights Watch. Phil shared details about the ongoing commitment to the fight for human rights in Asia as well as the inspiring story of Rahaf al-Qunun, the Saudi teen who fled her country and has now been granted asylum in Canada. 

    To keep up with Phil and the great work happening in the Asia Division on Twitter click here!



  • (New York) – Thirty landmarks across the globe will shine bright blue on December 10, 2018, to celebrate Human Rights Day and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Human Rights Watch said today. From New York to Beirut and Santiago to Sydney, the global lighting will highlight the fundamental principles of human dignity that the Universal Declaration affirms and that Human Rights Watch works to defend each day.

    “This is a challenging moment for human rights, but while the autocrats and rights abusers are capturing the headlines, they are spawning powerful resistance,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “We are proud to be playing a leading role in this reinvigorated defense of rights and the principles of truth, dignity, and justice that underpin them.”

    Each year on December 10, countries across the globe celebrate the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The milestone document proclaims inalienable rights to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion, expression and religion, the right to work and education, and many more protections to which everyone is entitled, without discrimination.

    Since 2013, the world-famous Empire State Building – home to the Human Rights Watch global headquarters – has been illuminated in the organization’s signature blue to commemorate Human Rights Day. This year, the following landmarks will shine blue:

    Flinders Street Station, Melbourne (Australia)
    State Library of NSW, Sydney (Australia)
    International Towers at Barangaroo, Sydney (Australia)
    Brussels City Hall and Grand Place, Brussels (Belgium)
    Montréal Tower, Montréal (Canada)
    CN Tower, Toronto (Canada)
    3D Toronto Sign, Toronto (Canada)
    BC Place Stadium, Vancouver (Canada)
    Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver (Canada)
    Gran Torre Santiago, Santiago (Chile)
    Danish Foreign Ministry, Copenhagen (Denmark)
    Paulskirche, Frankfurt (Germany)
    Tollwood Festival, Munich (Germany)
    Beirut National Museum, Beirut (Lebanon)
    Peace Palace, The Hague (Netherlands)
    Qatar Foundation, Doha (Qatar)
    Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, Doha (Qatar)
    Museum of Islamic Art, Doha (Qatar)  
    Ministry of Interior, Doha (Qatar)
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Doha (Qatar)
    Jet d’Eau, Geneva (Switzerland)
    John Hancock Center, Chicago (US)
    The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College, Miami (US)
    Empire State Building, New York (US)
    San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco, CA (US)
    The Capital Wheel, Washington DC (US)
    The Coca-Cola London Eye, London (UK)
    Somerset House, London (UK)

    “Illuminating these iconic landmarks is a powerful symbol that the values of freedom and dignity that inform the human rights cause continue to burn bright,” Roth said. “It is a call to action and a reminder that despite these dark times, defenders of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are winning key battles that are well worth fighting for.”

  • Human Rights Watch is committed to showcasing heroic stories of activists and survivors facing human rights issues around the world. We are excited to announce a screening of Strike a Rock, a deeply personal journey which follows two South African activists, grandmothers, and best friends—as they take on the platinum mining company, Lomin Plc. The screening will be followed by a discussion moderated by Isis Ferguson (Associate Director for City and Community Strategy, Place Lab), featuring Komala Ramachandra (Business and Human Rights Research, Human Rights Watch) and Jacqui-Lee Katz (Producer, Strike a Rock).

    Monday, December 10th

    Gene Siskel Film Center | 7:30 PM

    164 North State Street, Chicago