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.
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:
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
- Convention Against Torture
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.
Decarceration and Decriminalization
Protecting Voting Rights
Other Human Rights Issues
News About Our Work