A human rights advocacy groupfounded in 1978, Global Rights works with local partners in various countries around the world to address issues of human rights abuses, promote racial and gender equality, and foster legal and policy reform. It also supports an information gathering role, documenting and publicizing incidents of human rights violations. The Washington-based group believes that human rights can only be advanced from the ground up and views its primary purpose as that of a facilitator, offering partners “support, protection, guidance and training to strengthen the impact and visibility of their work.” It specializes in several areas: racial discrimination, women’s human rights, human trafficking, human rights legal training, and international criminal law.
In 2003 Global Rights worked successfully for the acquittal of Amina Lawal, a young mother in Nigeria whose case had stirred worldwide outrage after she was sentenced to death for adultery by a Sharia (Islamic law) court. In Afghanistan the group organized and trained Afghan women to participate in the first Loya Jirga, a groundbreaking political convention that chose the president. One of the women in the program actually ran for president, a remarkable event in a country that, under TALIBAN rule, had brutally suppressed women. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Global Rights assisted a group of Congolese human rights advocates in their efforts to establish a Human Rights Observatory and helped incorporate provisoins for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the Congolese peace agreement. The advocacy group has worked in the United States as well, helping domestic and migrant workers to fight discrimination, lobbying for affirmative action, and supporting rights of detainees taken into custody after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.