The Chicago Committee is part of the Human Rights Watch Council, a global network of individuals and committees across 33 cities internationally. Council members are ambassadors for Human Rights Watch in their communities, providing us with a strong presence in key cities and countries.

As the Chicago Committee of Human Rights Watch, we play a central role in raising awareness in Chicago of local and global human rights issues, generating financial support for the organization's mission, and mobilizing the public to defend basic freedoms for all. Together, we play a key role in defending human rights by ensuring that human rights issues remain high on the public agenda in our city. 


  • Join us for an in-person gallery talk on the intersection of art, activism, and actualizing a more just world, featuring Human Rights Watch US Program Director Tanya Greene.

    Renowned Spanish artist Jaume Plensa’s Forgotten Dreams (2023) features all thirty articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written across the faces of a bank of twenty-one aluminum doors. Plensa describes the Declaration as “the most beautiful poem in the world” as it embodies our dreams to be better as human beings, and to strive for perfection even though it is inevitably impossible to attain—a beacon with the potential to lead us toward a more enlightened path.

    Co-hosted by GRAY Chicago.

    Tuesday, May 30
    5:00pm Doors
    5:30pm Program

    GRAY Chicago
    2044 W Carroll Ave

    RSVP required. 

  • Thursday, April 13 - Sunday, April 16
    Booth 421 | Festival Hall
    Navy Pier | 600 East Grand Avenue

    Human Rights Watch returns to EXPO CHICAGO for an eighth year with photographs by world-renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky and monument, an installation by Denver-based artist Regan Rosburg.

    For admission and hours, click here.

  • This International Human Rights Day, we are delighted to invite you to celebrate the launch of Invitation to Tea: Tea Project Archive & Recipe Book, featuring a conversation with activists and artists Aliya Hussain, Michael Rakowitz, and Mohamedou Ould Slahi, alongside editors Amber Ginsburg and Aaron Hughes.

    The book features a forward by Human Rights Watch US Program Deputy Director Laura Pitter and recipes contributed by Human Rights Watch partners and community members the world over. Profits for the book go toward the Fund for Guantanamo Survivors.

    Co-hosted by Weinberg/Newton Gallery, Human Rights Watch, and the Center for Constitutional Rights.

    Saturday, December 10 | 11:00am
    Weinberg/Newton Gallery
    688 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60642

    Register in-person or online here.
    Order your copy of the book here.

  • The Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Annual Celebration is an opportunity to come together, hear about Human Rights Watch's work, and add your voice to the millions of others standing up for human rights in these difficult times.

    Join us on Tuesday, November 15 and become part of our global community dedicated to protecting human rights and celebrating those who speak out where there is silence. This year, we are delighted to honor we will honor the leadership of Judy Gaynor and Susan Manilow who took the first steps to launch the Chicago Committee in 2004.

    Programming includes keynote speech from Acting Executive Director Tirana Hassan and additional speeches from Afghanistan researcher Fereshta Abbasi, Health and LGBTQ senior researcher Kyle Knight, and Chicago-based intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis.

    Tuesday, November 15
    6:00pm Reception
    7:00pm Program & Dinner

    Morgan MFG
    401 North Morgan Street

    Donate or register here.

  • 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.

    Donate >>>



  • Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS and columnist with The Washington Post, joined Human Rights Watch Executive Director Ken Roth in conversation moderated by Chicago Committee Co-Chair Shalini Sharma to discuss human rights lessons learned during the pandemic, the outlook and future for the human rights movement, and opportunities to make progress with the incoming Biden Administration.

  • 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.


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