Blog of Rights

Making School a Safe Place for All Students

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:35am
In 19 states across the country, corporal punishment in schools is still legal. Sadly, in many states, children are better protected against physical discipline in detention facilities than they are in their own classrooms. That fact is a startling reminder that for the many children subjected to corporal punishment or the threat of it every day, school does not feel like a safe place.
America's Broken Guestworker Program Violates Human Rights

America's Broken Guestworker Program Violates Human Rights

By Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 9:53am

Twenty-three years ago today, the United Nations adopted the landmark International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Subsequently, the General Assembly named December 18 "International…

Victory! An Innocent Man's Journey from Death Row to Freedom

Victory! An Innocent Man's Journey from Death Row to Freedom

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:19am

For the last five years, I have been representing an innocent man.

I first met Montez Spradley on Alabama's death row in 2008. From that very first day, he vigorously maintained his innocence of the crime that landed him there: the 2004 murder…

Seeking International Accountability for Victims of U.S. Torture

Seeking International Accountability for Victims of U.S. Torture

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:12pm

Today the international community commemorates the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The U.S. government should take this time to reflect on some astounding statistics: Despite well-documented evidence of the systemic use of torture…

Seeking a Second Chance: Children Sentenced to Life Without Parole Seek Justice Before International Tribunal

Seeking a Second Chance: Children Sentenced to Life Without Parole Seek Justice Before International Tribunal

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU & Katie Haas, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:47pm

By her thirteenth birthday, Barbara Hernandez had lived with an abusive, alcoholic father and been molested by her mother’s second husband.  At fifteen, Barbara dropped out of school and moved in with her boyfriend James, who beat her and…

30 Years of Fighting Discrimination against Women - It's Time the U.S. Stepped Up

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 3:56pm

Today, the United Nations and the world celebrate 30 years of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the international human rights treaty dedicated to gender equality, adopted by the United Nations…

California Gives Hope to Child Offenders Sentenced to Die in Prison

California Gives Hope to Child Offenders Sentenced to Die in Prison

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 6:43pm

Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s Senate Bill 9, the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act, giving California youth sentenced to die in prison a second chance at life. There are 309 child offenders serving life-without-parole sentences…

Texas Shouldn't – BUT JUST DID – Execute a Mexican National

Texas Shouldn't – BUT JUST DID – Execute a Mexican National

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:52pm

Yesterday, at 9:32 p.m., the state of Texas executed Edgar Arias Tamayo, a 46-year-old Mexican national. Injecting lethal drugs into Mr. Tamayo's bloodstream was a clear violation of the United States' international obligations, and yet the state of…

Court Rejects Military Contractor's Attempt to Avoid Trial for Human Trafficking

Court Rejects Military Contractor's Attempt to Avoid Trial for Human Trafficking

By Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:21pm

A federal court in Texas struck a blow last week to contractor KBR's attempt to thwart efforts...

New Pope Washes the Feet of 12 Kids in Prison: An Easter Reminder for the U.S.

New Pope Washes the Feet of 12 Kids in Prison: An Easter Reminder for the U.S.

By Ajmel Quereshi, Staff Counsel, ACLU at 10:34am

Last week, while Christians around the world were preparing to celebrate Easter, the newly elected Pope Francis visited Casal Del Marmo...