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International Advocacy

The Advocates holds Special Consultative Status with the United Nations and participates in numerous United Nations and regional human rights mechanisms. The Advocates recruits, trains, and integrates professional volunteers into our international advocacy work. As a result, we greatly expand individual and group access to the United Nations and other international accountability mechanisms and increase understanding and appreciation of the importance of these institutions in the promotion of human rights.

The Advocates' United Nations advocacy includes: making oral and written statements to charter-based bodies such as the Human Rights Council; participating in UN review of compliance with human rights treaties through shadow reporting; and providing expert technical advice. The Advocates also participates in regional human rights mechanisms, such as the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

The Advocates has monitored human rights conditions and produced more than 75 reports documenting human rights practices in more than 25 countries.   The Advocates has led volunteers on international fact-finding trips to document human rights violations of the economic and social rights of children and rights in the administration of justice.  International monitoring missions have also produced reports on topics that include harassment of human rights defenders, military and police abuses, and restrictions on freedom of the press.  Since 2002, The Advocates has adapted human rights monitoring methods to contribute to the success of transitional justice in countries such as Peru, Sierra Leone and Liberia.


The Advocates' international monitoring work related to the rights of women is especially powerful.  The Advocates works with local organizations to document human rights abuses against women, including domestic violence, rape, employment discrimination, sexual harassment in the workplace, and trafficking in women and girls. The Advocates has partnered with organizations in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Morocco, Nepal, Mexico and Haiti, as well as in Minnesota.  Staff and volunteers conduct in-country research through close collaboration with local women's non-governmental organizations, using traditional human rights fact-finding methods to document violations of women's human rights. 

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