Since 1997, IWHR has focused significant resources to its "Bringing Human Rights Home" program, which applies international human rights standards to laws, policies and cases in the United States.

Children in Adult Prisons

In partnership with the Juvenile Life Without Parole Initiative, IWHR is involved in advocacy before the U.N. and the Inter-American Commission to challenge the incarceration of children in adult prisons.


The Clinic's work representing trafficking victims is described here [link].

Defense of Pregnant Women

The Clinic has worked with National Advocates for Pregnant Women to file human rights amicus briefs in two cases where women were criminally prosecuted following a miscarriage.

Domestic Violence

IWHR has filed human rights amicus briefs in major Supreme Court cases concerning domestic violence (Brzonkala v. Morrison and City of Castle Rock v. Gonzales). We have also prepared briefs and made oral presentations to the Inter-American Commission concerning the police failure to enforce an order of protection in the Jessica Gonzales case. The IWHR has also submitted a critique of the U.S.'s non-effective enforcement against domestic violence to the U.N. Committee Against Torture.

Gender and the "War on Terror"

The IWHR has submitted a shadow report to the U.N. Committee Against Torture critiquing the U.S. for the gender violence and abuse at Abu Graib prison in Iraq and has submitted proposed draft legislation for the U.S. Congress to revise the 2006 Military Commission Act.

Economic and Social Rights

IWHR has been on the forefront of challenging U.S. social and economic rights violations before the U.N. and regional human rights bodies. In l999, on behalf of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign and others, we prepared the first petition challenging violations of economic and social rights in the U.S. in regard to cutbacks on access to welfare, housing and health. IWHR has also submitted a report on intersection of poverty and gender-based violence to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women. In 2009, IWHR prepared and presented a report to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Housing, illuminating the gender dimensions of the housing and foreclosure crisis in the U.S.

Racial Discrimination

In 2001, IWHR helped prepare a shadow report on women of color and health which was submitted to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as part of a report, organized by the Urban Justice Center, on the intersectional impact of race discrimination on women in New York.

Gender Based Violence and LGBT Issues

IWHR has helped to prepare shadow reports on gender based violence and LGBT human rights violations for the U.S. reviews by the Human Rights Committee (2005), Committee Against Torture (2006) and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (2007).

IWHR clinic students and Prof. Lisa Davis meet with UN Representative of the Secretary-General Walter Kalin.