Human Rights

The destiny of human rights is in the hands of all our citizens in all our communities.  --Eleanor Roosevelt

AJC's commitment to human rights dates back to its establishment in 1906. At the founding conference of the United Nations in 1945, AJC leaders such as Jacob Blaustein and Joseph Proskauer were official NGO consultants to the US delegation and successfully pressed to ensure that the UN Charter included international human rights guarantees.

AJC's human rights agenda is pursued primarily through its Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights (JBI). With a universal concern, JBI calls attention to human rights issues of core importance to the Jewish community, i.e., combating religious intolerance, torture, discrimination (whether based on race, religion, sex, or other status), and preventing the indifference that can lead to genocide.

The Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights: Celebrating 40 Years of International Advocacy

This publication, commemorating the 40th anniversary of JBI’s global advocacy work, cites a number of key JBI contributions to the advancement of human rights since its founding in 1971 under the aegis of AJC. As E. Robert Goodkind, Chairman of JBI’s Administrative Council, states in its introduction, “in the past forty years, the concept and reality of human rights has made impressive progress in the world arena. … [A]t every turn, JBI has been part of that progress – often in the very thick of it.” The document demonstrates that JBI has contributed meaningfully to the great advances to human rights protection made in the post-World War II world, and in the future will continue to combat abuse and persecution and to secure protection for the fundamental rights of all humankind. Read Report.


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