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The ABA House of Delegates is the Association's policymaking body. It is comprised of 546 members from across the nation, including state delegates, state and local bar association delegates, and ABA section and division delegates, among other entities represented. It meets in February and August to debate and decide policy proposals ("reports with recommendations") submitted by interested entities. Upon their adoption by the House of Delegates, the proposals become official ABA policy and their implementation may be pursued through legislative advocacy, public education, project development, and other means. The summaries below represent many (but not necessarily all) human rights-related ABA policies.


Domestic Surveillance. Calls upon the United States President to abide by the U.S. constitutional system of checks and balances and respect the roles of Congress and the judiciary, and opposes any further electronic surveillance that does not comply with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). (Feb. 2006)

Torture. Condemns any use of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment upon any person within the custody or under the physical control of the U.S. government (including its contractors) and any endorsement or authorization of such measures by government lawyers, officials and agents. Urges the U.S. government to comply with both U.S. laws and international treaties, including the Geneva Conventions, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and related customary international law. Advises the U.S. government to ensure that all foreign persons captured, detained or interned by the U.S. are treated according to lawful U.S. standards and are not turned over to another government believed to subject its prisoners to torture or other degrading treatment. Encourages the President and Congress to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate U.S. detention and interrogation practices. (Aug. 2004)

Military Commissions. Calls upon Congress and the Executive Branch to ensure that all defendants in any military commission trials that may take place have the opportunity to receive the zealous and effective assistance of Civilian Defense Counsel (CDC), and opposes any qualification requirements or rules that would restrict the full participation of CDC. (HR 301) (Aug. 2003)

Domestic and International Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. Supports and urges reasonable and balanced initiatives designed to detect and prevent domestic and international money laundering and terrorist financing. (Feb. 2003)

Detention. Opposes the incommunicado detention of foreign nationals in undisclosed locations by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and urges protection of the constitutional and statutory rights of immigration detainees. (HR 115B) (Aug. 2002) ( Resolution; Report)

Military Commissions. Proposes that military commissions established under the military order issued by the President on Nov. 13, 2001, be structured and implemented in a manner that meets the requirements of fundamental fairness as generally recognized both in the United States and among its principal allies in the fight against terrorism. (Feb. 2002)

Capital Punishment

Moratorium on Executions. Urges jurisdictions that impose capital punishment not to carry out the death penalty until the jurisdiction implements policies and procedures that are consistent with four longstanding Association policies intended to (1) ensure that death penalty cases are administered fairly and impartially, in accordance with due process, and (2) minimize the risk that innocent persons may be executed, with the understanding that, apart from existing policies relating to offenders who are mentally retarded or under the age of 18 at the time of the commission of the offense, the Association takes no position on the death penalty. (Feb. 1997)

Death Penalty (Counsel). Urges implementation of certain measures in the litigation of death penalty cases, including the provision of competent and adequately compensated counsel, and commends to Congress sample legislation as a way to implement the recommendations. (Feb. 1990)

Mental Retardation and the Death Penalty. Urges that no person with mental retardation, as now defined by the American Association on Retardation, be sentenced to death or executed. Supports enactment of legislation barring the execution of defendants with mental retardation. (Feb. 1989)

Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Counsel in Death Penalty Cases. Recommends the adoption of Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Counsel in Death Penalty Cases by entities providing counsel in death penalty cases, subject to such exceptions as may be appropriate in the military. (Feb. 1989)

Habeas corpus. Supports full utilization of certain provisions pertaining to representation in federal habeas corpus death penalty proceedings and acknowledge the efforts of the federal judges to implement them. Urges federal district and circuit courts to adopt and federal judicial councils to approve (1) a plan for providing representation in federal habeas corpus death penalty proceedings in accordance with certain procedures, and (2) certain amendments to its Criminal Justice Act plan. Urges the federal courts to consult extensively with appropriate state criminal justice leaders in developing and carrying out such implementation plans. (Feb. 1988)

Discrimination in Capital Sentencing. Opposes discrimination in capital sentencing on the basis of the race of their the victim or the defendant; supports legislation that strives to eliminate racial discrimination in capital sentencing and that provides that a challenge to a death sentence can result in relief in certain instances. (Aug. 1988)

Death Penalty Cases (Counsel). Recommends that when attorneys are appointed to represent defendants in the trial of death penalty cases, two attorneys shall be appointed as trial counsel to represent the defendant, and that the primary attorney shall have substantial trial experience, including the trial of serious felony cases. (Feb. 1985)

Capital Punishment (Age). Opposes in principle the imposition of capital punishment upon any person for any offense committed while under the age of 18. (Aug. 1983)

Counsel in Death Cases. Urges the U.S. Supreme Court to adopt a rule providing for appointment of counsel to pursue post-conviction remedies in death penalty cases, and recommends that the Criminal Justice Act be amended to provide for adequate compensation to counsel in such cases. (Feb. 1979)

Children's Rights

Children in Armed Conflict. Supports U.S. ratification of an optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. (July 2000)

Child Pornography and Prostitution. Supports U.S. ratification of an optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography. (July 2000)

Child Labor. Urges the U.S. to work with the United Nations and the International Labor Organization to promote the abolition of economic exploitation of persons under 18 years of age by adopting and enforcing laws that a) regulate the employment of children, and b) eliminate the abduction, trading and selling of children, and their employment under slavery-like conditions. (Aug. 1996)

Convention on the Rights of the Child. Endorses in principle the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child subject to eight Reservations, Understandings, and Declarations aimed at promoting U.S. ratification. These qualifications reaffirm the U.S. government’s jurisdiction and right to certain practices, such as the regulation of the practice of religion to the extent that it is constitutional, the incarceration of certain children within adult correctional facilities even if it is not in the “best interests of the child,” and the separation of a child from his or her parents against their will under certain circumstances. Also confirms that the Convention imposes no legal obligations on the U.S. regarding the voluntary interruption of pregnancy and cannot be interpreted as affecting any U.S. laws related to such interruptions. (Feb. 1994)

Hague Convention. Urges the Senate to give its advice and consent to the ratification of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation with Respect to Intercountry Adoption (adopted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law in 1993), and urges Congress to enact implementing legislation to permit the U.S. to participate in this Convention. (Feb. 1994)

Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Suggests that the ABA include an accompanying list of reservations, understandings, and declarations in efforts to promote its previous endorsement of the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. (Feb. 1991)

Rights of Children in Foster Care. Supports and reaffirms (1) the rights of children in foster care homes to be protected from abuse, physical violence, and sexual assault while in foster custody; (2) the obligation of relevant state and local officials to provide for the continued safety of the foster care environment; and (3) the legal responsibility and liability of state and local governments and their agents for injury and abuse caused to children in foster care custody when they exhibit gross negligence or reckless disregard in failing to respond or affirmatively protect children from such dangers. Calls upon legislatures, members of the bar and child advocates everywhere to seek to strengthen recognition and implementation of this interest in children in safe foster care. (Aug. 1990)

Civil and Political Rights

Homeless Voting Process. Supports efforts to insure the participation of homeless persons in the electoral process. Recommends that election laws, regulations and policies regarding residency determinations and the methods by which persons vote and by which voter registration is verified should not hinder or prevent registration and voting by homeless persons who are otherwise qualified to vote. Recommends and supports legislation to assure that no voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, standard, practice, or procedure, shall be imposed or applied by any state or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right to vote of any citizen who resides at or in a non-traditional abode. Encourage election officials to undertake active outreach efforts to inform homeless persons of voter registration and voting procedures. (Aug. 1993)

Religious Liberty Restoration Act.  Supports in principle the enactment of federal legislation, such as the Religious Liberty Restoration Act of 1990, requiring that the federal and state governments demonstrate that any law interfering with the free exercise of religion must have a compelling state interest and be narrowly tailored. (Feb. 1991)

Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Urges the U.S. to promptly sign and ratify this convention. (Feb. 1986)

Torture. Supports federal legislation to (1) establish a federal right of action by both aliens and U.S. citizens against persons who, under color of foreign law, engage in acts of torture, extra-judicial killing or prolonged arbitrary detention; (2) authorize suits by both aliens and U.S. citizens who have been victims of torture, extra-judicial killing or prolonged detention, under color of foreign law, wherever these acts occur and expressly provide federal court jurisdiction over these suits; and (3) amend the immigration laws to permit the deportation from the United States any alien who, in his or her official capacity, took part in the torture of another person under color of law. (Aug. 1985)

Right of Action (Torture). Supports the concept of federal legislation that would clearly establish a federal right of action by both aliens and U.S. citizens against persons who, under color of foreign law, engage in acts of torture or extrajudicial killing as defined by the law of nations. (Aug. 1985)

Torture. Supports federal legislation to (1) establish a federal right of action by both aliens and U.S. citizens against persons who, under color of foreign law, engage

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Supports ratification of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, subject to several reservations, understandings, and declarations recommended to the Senate by the Departments of State and Justice, including the protection of the right to free speech and the prerogative to impose capital punishment. (Feb. 1979)

Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

Protection of Adults (Elderly). Urges support of The Hague Private International Law Convention on the International Protection of Adults. (Feb. 2000)

Homelessness. Supports the adoption of creative and comprehensive measures to address homelessness by eliminating illegal residential segregation, increasing the availability of affordable transitional and permanent housing and improving the accessibility of such housing to employment, schools, transportation, and human services, with such efforts to include (1) stronger enforcement of existing laws designed to eradicate discrimination in house; (2) affirmative plans to increase and preserve the supply of adequate affordable housing; (3) regional initiatives to provide affordable housing that is accessible to employment, transportation and human services, (4) programs to integrate communities by race and income; (5) provisions of incentive and rewards to encourage the planning and development of affordable housing in integrated communities; and (6) enactment of specific affordable housing laws. (Aug. 1995)

Homelessness. Urges bar associations to join in preventing homelessness by developing, supporting, and leading state and local initiatives, projects and programs that result in certain specified actions; and resolves to cooperate in supplying expertise, clearinghouse services, and other assistance to those state and local bar associations that undertake programs and projects consistent with the intent of this resolution. (Aug. 1994)

Human Rights and Multilateral Development Banks. Urges the United States to support the establishment of human rights departments in multilateral development banks. (Aug. 1989)

Right to Food. Supports the recognition of a fundamental right to food and urges the U.S. government to make the right to food a principal objective of U.S. foreign policy. (Aug. 1986)

Homelessness. Supports legislation to (1) prevent discrimination on the basis of transient or homeless status; (2) address the need for emergency relief to individuals and families without permanent shelter; (3) encourage public and private initiatives to increase the supply of habitable low-cost housing in the United States; and (4) adopt public policies and programs that will contribute to the ability of homeless people to become productive citizens. (Aug. 1976)

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Supports ratification of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, subject to several understandings, declarations, and one reservation recommended to the Senate by the Departments of State and Justice, including the declaration that the Covenant does not diminish the equal obligation of all States Parties to fulfill their responsibilities under international law and does not restrict the right of free speech as protected by the U.S. Constitution. (Feb. 1979)

Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

Genocide and Responsibility to Protect. Endorses the December 2008 report of the Genocide Prevention Task Force and the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine. (Aug. 2009)

Darfur, Sudan. Calls upon the United States government to take all necessary and proper actions within its power to end the ongoing atrocities (including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes) in Darfur, Sudan. (Feb. 2005)

Genocide Convention. Supports U.S. ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide subject to three understandings and one declaration, including the understanding that the Convention will not affect the right of any State Party to bring to trial before its own tribunals any of its nationals for acts committed outside the state. (Feb. 1976)

Good Governance

Convention Against Corruption. Supports prompt U.S. ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption subject to minimal reservations, understandings, and declarations, and supports the development of mechanisms to monitor the implementation and enforcement of the Convention. (Aug. 2005)

Democracy Caucus. Supports the creation of a United Nations Democracy Caucus within the United Nations framework to work towards the strengthening of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law throughout the UN system. (Feb. 2004)


Immigrants, Migrant Workers, and Refugees

Rights of Farmworkers. Supports efforts to improve wages, working conditions, and housing for farmworkers; enhanced enforcement of laws regulating the rights of farmworkers and according legal resident status to non-citizen farmworkers presenting working in the United States. Opposes any expansion of the existing H-2A nonimmigrant visa category for admitting temporary agricultural farmworkers to the United States either by changing the temporary labor certification process or by repealing or lowering existing H-2A requirements. 99A106 (Oct. 1999)

Refugees from Cuba and Haiti. Urges the U.S. government to take special measures to protect the rights of Cuban and Haitian refugees detained in camps under U.S. control, including due process, access to independent legal counsel, humanitarian living conditions and adequate medical care. Insists that U.S. lawyers be permitted to visit with any such refugee requesting legal counsel for the purposes of counseling them. (Feb. 1995)

Refugees' Health Concerns. Urges the U.N. to (a) provide adequate international protection for refugee health needs; (b) review the adequacy of current international agreements to address the health and related humanitarian needs of refugees and displace persons; (c) strengthen the protection of refugee health under existing international agreements; and (d) develop international agreements, and other mechanisms, to protect the health needs of all other displaced persons. (Aug. 1991)

Visa Denials. Recommends that U.S. law concerning visa denials not prevent an alien from obtaining a visa solely on the basis of past or current political beliefs or political associations or on the basis of the expected content of the person’s statements. (Feb. 1986)

International Tribunals and Jurisdiction

Criminal Jurisdiction. Enunciates policy that should govern the proper exercise of universal criminal jurisdiction and clarifies the right of a nation to preempt the exercise of such jurisdiction over one or more of its citizens or lawful residents accused of committing an international crime upon declaring its willingness to investigate the allegations and prosecute the accused in accordance with international human rights norms and standards. (Feb. 2004)

Rome Statute (International Criminal Court). Recommends that the U.S. accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. (Feb. 2001)

International Criminal Court. Recommends that the U.S. Government work toward finding solutions to the numerous important legal and practical issues identified in the reports of the Task Force on an International Criminal Court and the New York State Bar Association, with a view toward the establishment of an international criminal court considering four specified principles and issues. (Aug. 1992)

Justice System

Race-based profiling. Supports legislation requiring the systematic collection and annual reporting of certain data by all law enforcement agencies that engage in traffic stops, including the race and ethnicity of each person stopped. Supports legislation that requires the U.S. Department of Justice and attorneys-general to undertake a study using the data to determine whether, how, and the degree to which race-based profiling or other methods that disproportionately target or affect persons of color are being employed by law enforcement authorities, and to identify the most efficient and effective method of ending such practices. 99A10A (Aug. 1999)

Representation for Indigents. Recommends that all jurisdictions ensure that defendants are represented by counsel at their initial judicial appearance where bail is set and that each jurisdiction provide adequate resources to support effective implementation of such representation by counsel for indigent defendants. 98A112D (Nov. 1998)

Victims of Crimes Restitution and Programs. Urges trial judges to encourage processes which inform and educate victims of crimes about programs, procedures and restitution, while observing the legal rights of criminal defendants and assuring impartiality to all who appear before them, including the use of videos, brochures and educational materials, presented to victims by law enforcement officials, at an early stage in the criminal proceeding. 98M104B (Oct. 1998)

Victims' Rights. Continues to support protection of victims’ rights and adoption of further statutory measures to protect these rights, and urge federal, state and territorial legislatures considering measures to recognize victims’ rights in the criminal justice system to do so consistent with seven specified principles. Urges that, in considering provisions to protect crime victims’ rights, consideration be given to certain Association policies. (Aug. 1997)

Indigent Protection. Supports the inclusion of safeguards which protect a litigant of being deprived of access to the judicial system based on the litigant’s economic status in any proposed rule of procedure or legislation which includes the concept of fee-shifting based on a rejection of settlement offers or demands; without endorsing its enactment, urges that any such proposed rule of procedure or legislation should consider, at minimum, the "Offer of Judgment Procedure," dated February 1996. (Feb. 1996)

Lawyer Bias. Condemns the manifestation by lawyers in the course of their professional activities of bias or prejudice against clients, opposing parties and others, unless such words or conduct are otherwise permissible as legitimate advocacy on behalf of a client or a cause; opposes unlawful discrimination by lawyers in the management or operation of a law practice in hiring, promoting, discharging or otherwise determining the conditions of employment, or accepting or terminating representation of a client; condemns any conduct by lawyers that would threaten, harass, intimidate or denigrate any other person; discourages members from belonging to any organization that practices invidious discrimination; encourages affirmative steps to discourage such discriminatory speech and conduct. (Aug. 1995)

Discrimination in the Legal Profession. Opposes bias and discrimination based on race and gender that prevent multicultural women from gaining full and equal participation in the legal profession, and actively supports efforts to eradicate such bias and discrimination. (Feb. 1995)

Access to Justice. Reaffirms support for access to the American system of justice without regard to financial wherewithal; supports the availability of access to the federal courts under the grant of diversity jurisdiction. (Feb. 1995)

Victims of Crime Act of 1984. Supports legislation to amend the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 to (1) recognize that victims of crimes committed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice are entitled to receive benefits intended to compensate other victims under the Act; (2) make compensation available to nonworking spouses and children who are victims under the Act; and (3) expand the geographic applicability of the Act to include U.S. citizens and their family members who may be outside the United States and who may become victims of crimes committed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. (Feb. 1993)

Bias in Judicial System. Supports the enactment of authoritative measures, requiring studies of the existence, if any, of bias in the federal judicial system, including biased based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation and disability, and the extent to which bias may affect litigants, witnesses, attorneys and all those who work in the judicial branch; urges that such studies should include the development of remedial steps to address and eliminate any bias found to exist. (Aug. 1991)

Rights of Institutionalized. Supports legislation to permit the U.S. Attorney General to bring suit on behalf of persons confined in state institutions. (Aug. 1976)

Prisoner Education. Urges all states to make basic education available to all prisoners needing it, especially reading skills and instruction leading to attainment of high school equivalency diplomas and to encourage voluntary participation in such programs by providing payment for education or additional good-time credits to participants. (Aug. 1976)

Human Rights Violations by Lawyers. Calls for the creation of a special committee of the American Bar Association to review alleged violations of human rights involving lawyers in their capacities as lawyers. (Aug. 1976)

Racial Discrimination

Apartheid. Opposes the South African policy of apartheid, and urges the U.S. Government to take action to oppose apartheid. (Feb. 1985)

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Supports U.S. accession to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, subject to certain understandings and reservations, including the protection of the right of free speech. (Aug. 1978)

Regional and Country-specific

American Convention on Human Rights. Supports U.S. accession to the American Convention on Human Rights, subject to reservations recognizing that nothing in the Convention requires or authorizes the U.S. to enact legislation or otherwise restrict the right of free speech as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution; that the fairness doctrine as interpreted under the U.S. Constitution meets the requirements of Article 14; and that the second sentence of paragraph 1 of Article 4 does not apply to lawful abortions. (Aug. 1979)

Hong Kong Bill of Rights. Supports the adoption of a Bill of Rights for Hong Kong that guarantees those civil and political rights, after July 1, 1997, that residents of Hong Kong currently enjoy, as anticipated by the newly enacted Basic Law of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Calls upon the governments of the United Kingdom and the People’s Republic of China to give effect in local law, enforceable after July 1, 1997, of provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Encourages the Chinese government to allow free movement of persons to and from Hong Kong, and the U.S. Government to use its influence to promote the continuance and growth of democratic institutions in Hong Kong. (Feb. 1991)

Human Rights in China. Condemns human rights violations in China in April-June 1989 and calls upon the U.S. Government to take steps to protect and promote international human rights standards. (Aug. 1989)

Apartheid. Urges the U.S. to initiate steps opposing the apartheid policies of South Africa. (Aug. 1989)

Human Rights in Iran. Deplores the persistent, gross violations of human rights (such as mass summary executions, torture, and other inhuman punishment of political and other prisoners; the persecution of certain religious communities; and gross denials of fair trial rights in political cases) committed by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran; urges the new leadership of Iran to protect basic human rights, ensure fair procedures in political cases and to eliminate torture and other inhuman punishment of prisoners; and urges the U.S. Government to urge the Government of Iran to (1) recognize and protect basic human rights; (2) adhere to U.N. procedures for the resolution of human rights violations; (3) accept a U.N.-sponsored delegation to investigate conditions in Iranian prisons; and (4) accept an international delegation of lawyers and jurists to observe Iranian judicial proceedings and determine whether defendants’ rights are being safeguarded. (Aug. 1989)

Glasnost. Supports the steps taken by the U.S.S.R. in the area of legal reform and increased democratization of Soviet society under the policy of “glasnost.” (Aug. 1987)

Chilean Government. Opposes the Chilean Government’s interference in the operations of the country’s legal system. (Aug. 1987)

Genocide in Cambodia. Condemns the documented genocide in Cambodia. (Feb. 1987)

Political Prisoners in South Africa. Urges the immediate release of all political prisoners in South Africa. (Aug. 1985; reaffirmed and updated, Aug. 1989)

Sexual Orientation and Conduct

Sexual Orientation. Urges the federal, state, and local governments to enact legislation, subject to such exceptions as may be appropriate, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodations. "Sexual orientation" means heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality. (Feb. 1989)

Study Gay and Lesbian Bias. Urges state, territorial, and local bar associations to study in their communities, bias against gay and lesbians within the legal profession and justice system, and to make appropriate recommendations to eliminate such bias. (Feb. 1988)

Decriminalization of Noncommercial Sexual Conduct. Urges the legislatures of the several states to repeal all laws that classify as criminal conduct any form of non-commercial sexual conduct between consenting adults in private, saving only those portions that protect minors or public decorum. (Aug. 1973)

Slavery, Forced Labor, and Trafficking

Slavery Convention. Supports U.S. ratification of the Supplementary Slavery Convention. (Aug. 1967)

Convention on the Abolition of Forced Labor. Recommends that the U.S. take no action with regard to this convention. (Aug. 1967)

Women’s Rights

CEDAW. Reaffirms support for U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and supports in principle the development of an optional protocol to the convention providing for an individual right of petition as called for in the Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women. (Nov. 1995)

Protection of Women’s Human Rights. Endorses international and domestic efforts to promote and protect women’s human rights through the adoption and enforcement of legal provisions for equality and equal protection of the law; recommends that the U.S. Government and non-governmental organizations participating in the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995, actively support the inclusion in the Platform for Action effective measures to accelerate the removal of the remaining obstacles to the realization of women’s basic rights. (Nov. 1994)

Sexual Harassment. Recognizes that sexual harassment is a serious problem in all types of workplace settings, including the legal profession, and that it constitutes a discriminatory and unprofessional practice that must not be tolerated in any work environment; resolves to educate the profession about the scope and harm of sexual harassment in the workplace, and to call upon members of the legal profession to provide leadership and education in eradicating it; recognizes that sexual harassment is not confined to interactions between co-workers in the workplace, but may also arise in the context of employees and non-employees. (Feb. 1992)

Women in the Legal Profession. Recognizes that the persistence of overt and subtle barriers denies women the opportunity to achieve full integration and equal participation in the work, responsibilities, and rewards of the legal profession; affirms the fundamental principle that there is no place in the profession for barriers that prevent the full integration and equal participation of women in all aspects of the legal profession; and calls upon members of the legal profession to eliminate such barriers. (Aug. 1988)

Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. Urges U.S. ratification of the convention, subject to (1) a reservation to preserve federal-state divisions of authority and (2) a declaration that the convention's substantive provisions are not self-executing. (Aug. 1984)

Sex Discrimination in Employment. Supports federal and state legislation assuring that prohibitions against sex discrimination in employment also prohibit employment discrimination because of pregnancy. (Feb. 1978)

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Urges prompt, vigorous, and effective implementation of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which promotes equal educational opportunity without regard to sex, to the full extent of the powers granted by the statute. (Aug. 1975)

Rental Discrimination. Supports legislation that prohibits discrimination in the sale and rental of housing on the basis of sex. (Aug. 1974)

Marital Status Discrimination. Favors enactment of legislation to ensure that employers are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees on the basis of marital status. (Feb. 1974)

Discrimination Based on Sex (Legal Education). Urges law schools and law firms to refrain from discriminating against women. (Aug. 1972)

Convention on the Political Rights of Women. Opposes U.S. accession to this convention. (Aug. 1967)


Human Rights Generally. Urges U.S. Government to take certain steps to advance the promotion and observance of international human rights with emphasis on (a) strengthening the post of the Commissioner for Human Rights; (b) supporting establishment of special regional commissioners for protection of minority rights where such commissioners do not currently exist; (c) helping to increase U.N. resources for promotion of democracy and strengthening the rule of law; (d) expediting ratification of important U.N. conventions relating to the protection of human rights and enacting legislation to facilitate removing reservations to various human rights treaties that have been ratified; (e) supporting the appointment of women to senior positions in the U.N. system; (f) supporting strengthening the system of Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups by providing them with sufficient resources and staff, and allowing them to investigate human rights abuses within their jurisdiction and on their own initiative; and (g) working to institutionalize better relations between the U.N. and NGOs to better reflect and utilize NGOs in norm creation and in more systematic scrutiny of state compliance, and to protect NGOs providing humanitarian assistance. (Aug. 1994)

Helsinki Accords. Supports those who have challenged their governments to comply with the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Agreement of 1975 and who have been monitoring and reporting the condition of human rights in their countries. Calls upon participants in the 1977 Belgrade Conference and all citizens of the 35 countries that signed the Helsinki Agreement to ensure faithful compliance with the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Agreement as well as the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. (Feb. 1978)

Human Rights Generally. Supports U.S. promotion, through the United Nations, of "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms" for all people within all countries. Encourages promulgation of U.N. recommendations and treaties on human rights. (Aug. 1967)