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International Advocacy

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Why does the SPLC engage in international advocacy?

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s mission to protect the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution does not stop in the United States! Like the Constitution, several international human rights treaties contain important obligations to protect, respect and fulfill rights. These obligations are at the core of the SPLC's work and dedication to advocating for equality, civil rights and justice for all.

Click on each of our core areas of work to find the SPLC’s submissions to international human rights bodies.


Additional Resources

United Nations Treaties

Although the U.S. played a leading role in establishing the U.N., it has failed to adopt most of the human rights treaties the U.N. oversees. For example, the U.S. signed, but has never ratified, the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We work with a wide variety of U.N. mechanisms, including treaty-monitoring committees and human rights experts, to address U.S. failure to adhere to human rights law.

These are the major U.N. treaties the U.S. has ratified:

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

The SPLC is working to hold the U.S. accountable at the U.N. and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for its failures to comply with its treaty obligations and to persuade the Biden administration to implement those obligations at all levels of government.

International Advocacy
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Person holds sign
Thu, 06/23/2022

Decarceration and Decriminalization

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Fists in air
Thu, 06/23/2022

Protecting Democracy

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Person by voting booth
Thu, 06/23/2022

Protecting Voting Rights

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Person holding cardboard cutout of house
Thu, 06/23/2022

Eradicating Poverty

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Person with child holds sign that reads No Hate
Thu, 06/23/2022

Other Human Rights Issues

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United Nations building in Geneva Switzerland
Fri, 09/09/2022

News About Our Work

Dismantling White Nationalism and Protecting Democracy

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The SPLC’s Intelligence Project is internationally known for its work to expose the activities of white supremacists and other domestic extremist groups. We are also sharing that expertise with international human rights bodies to pressure the U.S. to do more to protect our society and our democracy from their attacks.

• Submission to the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (Jackson, Mississippi) — May 15, 2023
• Testimony before the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent — May 2, 2023
• Submission to the U.N. Permanent Forum on People of African Descent
• SPLC Report to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination — July 15, 2022
• Response to Call for Input to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights — March 25, 2022
• Response to Call for Input to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism — March 10, 2022

Click on any of our other core areas of work to find the SPLC’s submissions to international human rights bodies.

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Person holds sign
Thu, 06/23/2022

Decarceration and Decriminalization

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Person by voting booth
Thu, 06/23/2022

Protecting Voting Rights

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Person holding cardboard cutout of house
Thu, 06/23/2022

Eradicating Poverty

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Person with child holds sign that reads No Hate
Thu, 06/23/2022

Other Human Rights Issues

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United Nations building in Geneva Switzerland
Fri, 09/09/2022

News About Our Work

Other Human Rights Issues

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As the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has observed, all human rights are indivisible and interdependent. One set of rights can’t be fully enjoyed when other rights are denied. The SPLC is working to address violations of human rights that intersect with our core impact issues.

Other Human Rights Issues:

Click on any of our other core areas of work to find the SPLC’s submissions to international human rights bodies.

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Person holds sign
Thu, 06/23/2022

Decarceration and Decriminalization

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Fists in air
Fri, 06/24/2022

Protecting Democracy

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Person by voting booth
Fri, 06/24/2022

Protecting Voting Rights

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Person holding cardboard cutout of house
Fri, 06/24/2022

Eradicating Poverty

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United Nations building in Geneva Switzerland
Fri, 09/09/2022

News About Our Work

Protecting Voting Rights and Civic Engagement

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Free and equal participation in elections and government is the foundational principle of democracy. Democracy in the U.S. is increasingly threatened by authoritarian efforts to suppress voting rights and limit the representation of people of color in government. While legislative bodies and courts are failing in their duty to protect these rights, the SPLC is sounding the alarm to international bodies and seeking their intervention.

Click on any of our other core areas of work to find the SPLC’s submissions to international human rights bodies.

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Person holds sign
Thu, 06/23/2022

Decarceration and Decriminalization

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Fists in air
Thu, 06/23/2022

Protecting Democracy

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Person holding cardboard cutout of house
Thu, 06/23/2022

Eradicating Poverty

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Person with child holds sign that reads No Hate
Thu, 06/23/2022

Other Human Rights

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United Nations building in Geneva Switzerland
Fri, 09/09/2022

News About Our Work

Eradicating Poverty

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The SPLC works to ensure that people living in poverty in the Deep South – especially people of color – are not punished or exploited because of their economic status. Injustices such as predatory lending, court debt, imprisonment for fines and fees, and the staggering costs of mass incarceration make the burdens of poverty even worse. We are calling them to the attention of international human rights organizations.

Click on any of our other core areas of work to find the SPLC’s submissions to international human rights bodies.

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Person holds sign
Thu, 06/23/2022

Decarceration and Decriminalization

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Fists in air
Thu, 06/23/2022

Protecting Democracy

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Person by voting booth
Thu, 06/23/2022

Protecting Voting Rights

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Person with child holds sign that reads No Hate
Thu, 06/23/2022

Other Human Rights Issues

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United Nations building in Geneva Switzerland
Fri, 09/09/2022

News About Our Work

News About Our Work

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Person holds sign
Fri, 09/09/2022

Decarceration and Decriminalization

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Fists in air
Fri, 09/09/2022

Protecting Democracy

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Person by voting booth
Fri, 09/09/2022

Protecting Voting Rights

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Person holding cardboard cutout of house
Fri, 09/09/2022

Eradicating Poverty

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Person with child holds sign that reads No Hate
Fri, 09/09/2022

Other Human Rights Issues

Decarcerating and Decriminalizing Black and Brown People

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The SPLC is advocating internationally on behalf of people of color in the United States whose human rights are violated by the nation’s racially discriminatory criminal justice system.

Click on any of our other core areas of work to find the SPLC’s submissions to international human rights bodies.

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Fists in air
Thu, 06/23/2022

Protecting Democracy

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Person by voting booth
Thu, 06/23/2022

Protecting Voting Rights

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Person holding cardboard cutout of house
Thu, 06/23/2022

Eradicating Poverty

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Person with child holds sign that reads No Hate
Thu, 06/23/2022

Other Human Rights Issues

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United Nations building in Geneva Switzerland
Fri, 09/09/2022

News About Our Work

Federal Policy Advocacy

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The Southern Poverty Law Center is a public interest advocacy organization working in the Deep South to eliminate the structural racism and inequalities that fuel the oppression of Black, Indigenous and other people of color. Our federal policy work includes administrative and legislative advocacy aimed at improving the lives of people in the South in our core impact areas: dismantling white nationalism and extremism; decriminalizing and decarcerating Black and Brown people; expanding voting rights and civic engagement; and eradicating the root causes of poverty. Below — grouped by topics — are letters, comments, testimony, reports and other SPLC Action Fund resources.

Click on any of our other core areas of work to find the SPLC’s work.

Photo credit: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call Inc via Getty Images

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Fists in air

Cross-cutting

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Person holding cardboard cutout of house

Eradicating Poverty

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Person holds sign

Decriminalization & Decarceration

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Person with child holds sign that reads No Hate

Hate & Extremism

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Person by voting booth

Voting Rights

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Silhouette of people's heads encircle the Earth, symbolizing the global community and interconnectedness.

International Advocacy

Cross-Cutting

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The federal policy work by the Southern Poverty Law Center includes administrative and legislative advocacy aimed at improving the lives of people in the South. Below are letters, comments, testimony, reports and other SPLC Action Fund resources:

Click on any of our other core areas of work to find the SPLC’s other federal policy work.

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Person holds sign

Decriminalization & Decarceration

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Person holding cardboard cutout of house

Eradicating Poverty

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Person with child holds sign that reads No Hate

Hate & Extremism

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Person by voting booth

Voting Rights

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Silhouette of people's heads encircle the Earth, symbolizing the global community and interconnectedness.

International Advocacy

Eradicating Poverty

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The federal policy work by the Southern Poverty Law Center includes administrative and legislative advocacy aimed at improving the lives of people in the South in the area of eradicating the root causes of poverty. Below are letters, comments, testimony, reports and other SPLC Action Fund resources:

Click on any of our other core areas of work to find the SPLC’s other federal policy work.

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Fists in air

Cross-cutting

0
Person holds sign

Decriminalization & Decarceration

0
Person with child holds sign that reads No Hate

Hate & Extremism

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Person by voting booth

Voting Rights

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Silhouette of people's heads encircle the Earth, symbolizing the global community and interconnectedness.

International Advocacy

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