Expanding Human Rights Throughout the Globe

The Advocates for Human Rights’ mission is to implement international human rights standards to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law. They accomplish this mission by building partnerships and involving volunteers in every aspect of their work. The Advocates believes that every person has a part to play in building respect for human rights and engages more than 1500 volunteers annually in this effort. The Olseth Family Foundation provides ongoing support to The Advocates’ Women’s Human Rights Program, which works to end violence against women locally and globally. This includes advocating for the right to protection and safety, training human rights defenders in advocacy and human rights methodology, and expanding this movement in the United States and around the world.

The Advocates for Human Rights envisions a world where every person lives with dignity, freedom, justice, equality, and peace. The Advocates uses a human rights approach to work toward a world where equity prevails, so that all people from even the most marginalized groups can enjoy justice and fairness. This approach correlates well with the Foundation’s objective to engender dignity, respect, and equality for all peoples.

The Advocates for Human Rights:

a. Provides free legal advice and representation to more than 1,000 people in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest annually. Many are seeking safety from violence, including domestic violence, human trafficking, and other gender-based violence.

b. Provides training and resources to help professionals prevent, identify, and combat human trafficking.

c. Conducts fact-finding, research, and assessment of Minnesota’s response to sex trafficking to identify gaps and make recommendations to strengthen Minnesota’s laws and policies. We boldly seek to move the anti-trafficking conversation from systems designed to respond to victims and survivors towards systems designed to prevent exploitation and trafficking.

d. Brings trained WATCH volunteers into courtrooms in three Twin Cities Metro counties to observe cases of violence against women and children and serve as a public eye in the proceedings.

e. Served on Minnesota’s Steering Committee of the Criminal Sexual Conduct Statutory Reform Working Group and drafted amendments to Minnesota’s laws on sexual conduct. These amendments became law in 2021. Loopholes and gaps remain. We are committed to continuing our work for stronger protection of victims and accountability of perpetrators.