Nonprofit roundup in honor of Human Rights Day

In honor of Human Rights Day, learn about some of the thousands of nonprofits fighting for human rights worldwide.
December 11, 2023
Clair Lofthouse
Technical Writer

On December 10th, 2023, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) turned 75 years old. The Declaration, signed at the United Nations General Assembly in Paris in 1948, was the first time that the inalienable rights of all people were pledged and held up for protection, regardless of a person’s race, color, religion, sex, language, politics or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Unfortunately, even after 75 years, much remains to be done. As shared on the United Nation website, “the promise of the UDHR, of dignity and equality in rights, has been under a sustained assault in recent years. As the world faces challenges new and ongoing – pandemics, conflicts, exploding inequalities, morally bankrupt global financial system, racism, climate change – the values, and rights enshrined in the UDHR provide guideposts for our collective actions that do not leave anyone behind.”

At Give Lively, in keeping with our foundational progressive values, we support universal human rights (although we’re all for environmental and animal rights, too). So we have plenty of incredible nonprofits to showcase for Human Rights Day. 

Inspired by the format of the UDHR, below we highlight a few Give Lively member nonprofits for several of the articles of the UDHR. 

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
  • 1951 Coffee Company promotes the well-being of the refugee community in the United States by providing job training and employment to refugees, asylees and special immigrant visa holders while educating the surrounding community about refugee life and issues.
  • The Anshe Emeth Community Development Corporation provides free social and health-related services to the neediest in the New Brunswick and Middlesex County, New Jersey community, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, ability, age or gender.
  • The Brotherhood Sister Sol, through unconditional love, around-the-clock support and wraparound programming, makes space for Black and Latinx young people to examine their roots, define their stories and awaken their agency.
  • Look back: Five nonprofits striving for women's equality

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
  • Diamond Diva Empowerment Foundation is dedicated to educating, strengthening and empowering women and children affected by domestic violence and various socio-economic conditions.
  • Friends of United Hatzalah’s more than 7,000 volunteer medics help save thousands of lives each year across Israel, offering service to all people regardless of race, religion or national origin.
  • Women’s Money Matters empowers women to improve their financial health to create a more secure future for their families and communities.

Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
  • A 2nd Cup raises awareness of human trafficking issues in Houston and develops resources that help create a second chance for survivors.
  • Collective Liberty is committed to ending all forms of human trafficking and ensuring survivors have access to necessary resources.
  • Consider the Lily provides a loving home for Filipina girls who have been exploited, abused or trafficked in Manila, Philippines.
  • National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance is a network of service providers committed to enhancing services and increasing access to care for survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Articles 6 through 11

Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. [In addition to this article, articles 7 through 11 declare that all are equal before the law and entitled to its protections, remedies and processes; protected against arbitrary arrest, detention or exile; and have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.]

Article 14

1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
  • Freedom House Detroit supports and empowers refugees, asylum seekers and others seeking humanitarian protection on their journey to safety, security and freedom by providing comprehensive services in an inclusive and welcoming space.
  • InReach aims to serve as a comprehensive, digital one-stop-shop for the diverse, intersectional LGBTQ+ community, including verified services for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, refugees and other immigrants. (InReach also works with LGBTQ+ Black, Indigenous and People of Color, transgender and gender non-conforming folks, LGBTQ+ youth and caregivers, and more LGBTQ+ communities.)
  • Look back: Five nonprofits in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month

Article 15

1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
  • Boundless Israel is a think-action tank that identifies and addresses system-wide challenges preventing organizations from educating about Israel, engaging with Israel, and combating Jew-hatred.
  • Rebuilding Alliance is dedicated to advancing equal rights for the Palestinian people through education, advocacy and support that assures Palestinian families the right to a home, schooling, economic security, safety and a promising future.  
  • Look back: We reject armed violence and hate speech

Article 16

1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
  • Rescue Pink's mission is to rescue girls in India from female infanticide, slavery, bonded labor, child marriage and trafficking through rescue, prevention and awareness.
  • Vow for Girls is committed to ending child marriage by building a connected groundswell of love and support for every girl whose right to own her future is at risk.

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
  • American Atheists aims to protect the absolute separation of religion from government and to elevate atheists and atheism in our nation’s public and political discourse.
  • Congregation Beit Simchat Torah is a vibrant spiritual community and a progressive voice within Judaism that attracts and welcomes gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, queer and straight individuals and families who share common values.

Article 23

1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
  • ChickTech is dedicated to advancing diversity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by increasing retention and building the pipeline of underrepresented technologists, with a focus on women, girls and non-binary people of all ages, working toward equal pay, participation and treatment of women.
  • Toigo Foundation focuses on both the institution and the individual – on building stronger, more diverse organizations through the inclusion and advancement of under-represented talent.
  • Women In Non-Traditional Employment Roles is a work development program whose mission is to "Train, educate and prepare women for transformative careers in the construction industry.”
  • Look back: Four nonprofits helping first responders and their families

Article 26

1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
  • The Clubhouse Network is an international community of 125 Clubhouses in 19 countries where young people from low-income communities become more creative, capable and confident learners by exploring, experimenting and expressing themselves with technology.
  • DreamWakers partners with 4th- to 12th-grade classrooms at rural and systemically under-resourced schools and educational programming nationwide to provide virtual connection with role models from diverse backgrounds, identities and perspectives beyond their city limits.
  • EL Education partners with K-12 educators to transform diverse public schools into hubs of opportunity for all students to achieve excellent equitable outcomes.

Article 27

1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
  • Enrich Chicago aims to advance a collective vision to irrevocably change the racist systems in the arts so that BIPOC arts and BIPOC people can thrive. 
  • Fluid Movement Inc is a Baltimore-based performance art group that juxtaposes complex subject matter with delightful and unexpected mediums to create art that is accessible, and often educational, for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Look back: Five nonprofit organizations safeguarding our water