International Mechanism Taskforces


ushrn-logo-squareList of USHRN Taskforces


In an effort to expand participation of social justice groups and facilitate more effective use of UN human rights tools to advance our domestic advocacy, the USHRN has created standing coordinating structures that include four Taskforces that operate under the auspices of the International Mechanisms Coordinating Committee (IMCC).The IMCC will be tasked with coordinating among the four Taskforces and will include USHRN staff and the chairs of each Taskforce.

The review processes and related advocacy for each human rights treaty ratified by the United States — the Convention Against Torture (CAT), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as well as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)—each have a Taskforce comprised of USHRN individual/organization members and partners (groups or individuals who are not current members are welcome to apply and are encouraged to join the USHRN.)

Taskforce Substantive Work & Responsibilities 
These Taskforces serve as coordinating bodies for social justice groups and individuals interested in using the UN human rights treaties and mechanisms to advance human rights in the United States. Specifically, each Taskforce will: disseminate information relevant to their treaty body’s review of the United States; coordinate the submission of shadow reports and other relevant written responses; facilitate broad engagement in the process; promote participation in civil society and government consultations; and coordinate UN advocacy and other substantive follow-up on the reviews.

Our Commitment to Broad and Diverse Participation 
Although the Taskforces cannot be representative of all issues to be raised during the reviews, we are committed to ensuring that the Taskforces represent a diversity of issue areas, constituencies, and geographic locations. We are particularly committed to engaging small organizations and groups new to international human rights advocacy in the process.

The USHRN is also committed to supporting a broad participatory process. We aim to organize multiple opportunities for engagement in addition to participation in the Taskforces. This will include helping to coordinate or contribute to shadow reports, community outreach and education, and participation in consultations. We will also make every effort to be inclusive of those unable to volunteer during the work day and accommodate schedules of individuals in different time zones. We will look to members and partners to help us find the most effective ways to achieve this broad and effective participation.

What We Are Looking For in Taskforce Members 
For each Taskforce we are looking for organizations and/or individuals who are willing and able to make a commitment to participation throughout the review cycle (approximately 2 years), are committed to the USHRN mission and principals, and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Are directly impacted by human rights violations;
  • Work with or on behalf of directly impacted communities
  • Have experience in engaging with human rights mechanisms, or who have an interest in developing such an expertise.

Instructions For Applicants 
Once the application process opens, anyone interested in volunteering for a Taskforce will need to provide a statement of interest including:

  • Your name, organizational affiliation (if any), email and phone number
  • Which Taskforce you are interested in being a member of and why
  • A description of how you meet the criteria outlined above (under “what we are looking for in Taskforce members”), including if you are able to commit to participate for the 2 year time period
  • How you or your organization will contribute to the USHRN’s advocacy and activism efforts
  • Your time availability and if you are willing to volunteer on weekends and evenings (we will make every effort to be inclusive of those unable to volunteer during the work day and accommodate schedules of individuals in different time zones)
  • How you or your organization will educate your community/constituency about the review and the subsequent recommendations and plans for ongoing work post-review, i.e. implementation and follow up
  • How you or your organization will use the recommendations from the treaty body review process to advocate implementation on a state and local level
  • Your commitment to coordinating a shadow reporting subcommittee

The Decision Making Process
A selection committee for each Taskforce will review all statements of interest. The selection committee will include USHRN Coordinating Center staff, the chairs of the Taskforce, and 2-3 USHRN members.