No. 23 - Unite with the ACLU

I'm glad to be a member of the ACLU. Creating rights is only half the struggle, it's an equal struggle to keep them and enforce them. Most human rights nonprofits do not emphasize the connection between rights and courts. They primarily use "blame and shame" techniques to coerce enforcement. I admire them. They are making the most with what they have.

These same nonprofits, however, worldwide, need to plan for where we want to to be, not just make the most of where we are. The international human rights community is making genuine progress and it's time to coalesce to use our power to effectuate a plan. Unite for Rights provides that plan. Human rights organizations can further their missions by focusing on a plan as only 1% of what they do, and contribute their logo to show that they are willing to help implement a plan to have human rights enforceable in the courts of all countries.

The ACLU recently asked members to explain why they support the ACLU. Here's what I wrote. It a simple explanation of the work of Unite. It also announces a new "take two minutes" campaign for people and businesses to sign a pledge to support a Global Bill of Rights.

"I’m a member of the ACLU because a Bill of Rights is our social contract. It is our agreement with those who govern that we will let them govern, when we elect them, but only if we retain for ourselves certain rights that they must follow and provide. The ACLU steadfastly reminds politicians and others of their obligations. Far too often nonprofits believe that begging politicians is enough: it’s not. Sometimes you have to sue them and thankfully we have outstanding judges across the land enforcing our rights in courts.

I’m also civil rights lawyer and have argued civil rights at every level of court, including the United States Supreme Court. I make the most of the civil rights law that we have and admire the civil rights lawyers with ACLU who are doing the same.

Last, and most importantly, I am the executive director of a nonprofit, Unite for Rights located in San Francisco, California and Geneva, Switzerland. Our mission is to draft and implement a Global Bill of Rights. What the ACLU is doing is great for America, but it is time to think more broadly: it’s time to think of a Global Bill of Rights that is enforceable in the courts of all countries.

We at Unite for Rights hope you will participate in our “take two minutes” campaign to have people and businesses in all countries sign a pledge to support the idea of a Global Bill of Rights on our website www.uniteforrights.org.

Thank you ACLU for all that you do, and let’s make rights enforceable globally as well as locally."

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