Since 1998, IHRLG has trained more than 200 civil rights and social justice groups throughout the US on integrating the language, techniques and procedures of international human rights law into their advocacy work. IHRLG's Criminal Justice Working Group has convened experts and practitioners from around the US to help them use international human rights treaties and UN fora to address racial biases in the US criminal justice system, including racial profiling, sentencing disparities and the death penalty.
We also invite civil rights and social justice leaders to participate in IHRLG's international advocacy training program (Advocacy Bridge), conducted in our Washington office and in Geneva during the annual sessions of the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR).
Recent examples of IHRLG's capacity-building activities in the United States include
- Training and assisting US law firms, civil society and social justice groups in April through July 2001, to prepare and submit shadow reports to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination for consideration during CERD's review of US fulfilment of its obligations under the Race Convention, conducted in August 2001.
- Encouraging broad participation of US groups in the 2001 World Conference Against Racism by coordinating consultations between the groups and UN officials (including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) and by conducting a leadership training series.
- Inviting criminal justice experts to join IHRLG's delegation to the 2000 annual session of the UN Commission on Human Rights to highlight racial discrimination in the US criminal justice system, particularly in application of the death penalty, disparate sentencing, and through racial profiling.
- Inviting environmental racism activists to join IHRLG's 1999 and 2000 delegations to the UNCHR, to help them raise awareness of the pervasive threat of environmental racism, and its impact on many communities 3 out of 5 African Americans live in communities with uncontrolled toxic waste, environmental hazards (such as uranium mining) threaten the very survival and culture of Native Americans and approximately 270,000 Latino migrant workers are poisoned each year from dangerous pesticides. IHRLG has also pressed for the UN Special Rapporteur on Toxic Waste to conduct a mission to the United States.