US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



USHRN and member delegation attend CSW63, reaffirm that the US shall not be exonerated from upholding human rights at home

Mar 21, 2019


Last week, USHRN attended the sixty-third session of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York City. Nine of our members, nine exceptional leaders and human rights defenders in their communities, were able to travel to New York and attend CSW63 with support from the Network. Together, we spent the week networking with like-minded national changemakers and contributing to important conversations shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

CSW63 Highlights

The Network prepared three statements to present on the floor at CSW63. We were graciously selected to present our Statement on the Status of Women and Girls of African Descent. USHRN member Dr. Yolande Tomlinson from the Organization for Human Rights and Democracy presented key points from our Statement during an interactive dialogue on March 14. Watch the video and read our Statement on the Status of Women and Girls of African Descent here.

Dr. Yolande Tomlinson presents our Statement on the Status of Women and Girls of African Descent at CSW63.

Read our Statement on CSW63’s Priority Theme: "Building alliances for social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls."

Read our Statement on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action

Read the USHRN member delegation’s Statement on the Status of Women and Girls


USHRN Delegates meet with Global Compact members

On Thursday, March 14, CSW63 delegates Marlene Chavez and Jovana Renteria met with USHRN Board Member Monami Maulik from Global Coalition on Migration, and the Women in Migration Network along with immigration rights defenders from Argentina, Jordan, and India. Together, immigrant rights defenders were able to discuss common areas of work, issues, and broader mechanisms to connect our fight globally. This marked the first time USHRN and Network members participated in an international meeting on Migration.


USHRN members networking with Global Compact leaders.


"Indigenous Women: Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities" side event

On March 13, the Network’s Executive Director Dr. Rosalee Gonzalez moderated a CSW side event titled "Indigenous Women: Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities.” The event highlighted the advocacy work of members and attendees Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Northern California, and Pua Case at Mauna Kea Education and Awareness in Hawai'i.


Click here to learn about violations of human and indigenous peoples rights at Mauna Kea mountain in Hawai’i and the Network’s opposition to the planned occupation of sacred land.


Chief Caleen Sisk (second from left), Pua Case (third from right) and some of our delegation discuss indigenous women's rights at CSW63 side event moderated by Dr. Rosalee Gonzalez (far left).


Expert Meeting on the Rights of Indigenous Women

Executive Director Dr. Rosalee Gonzalez participated in an Expert Meeting on the Rights of Indigenous Women under the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This consultation focused on the scope and interpretation of indigenous women’s rights and aimed to contribute to the adoption of a General Recommendation on the Rights of Indigenous Women by the CEDAW Committee. This recommendation will offer States Parties a comprehensive vision of the scope of each of the individual and collective rights from the perspective of indigenous women to eliminate the various forms of discrimination affecting their lives.


The specific objectives of the consultation were: a) Identify the obstacles and intersectional factors that hinder the enjoyment of indigenous women’s rights; b) Compile measures and good practices to ensure indigenous women’s rights; c) Formulate recommendations for promoting and protecting indigenous women’s rights.  Among the strategies proposed is the establishment of a "Friends of a General Recommendation on the Rights of Indigenous Women", which entails identifying committed states interested in supporting the drafting and adoption of said recommendation. The meeting included CEDAW staff, Special Procedures mandate holders, Secretariat of the PFII, academics and indigenous women leaders from around the world.




The USHRN serves as the nexus between international mechanisms and US civil society organizers and actors who defend human rights at home. During their week of attendance, our delegation to CSW63 upheld the Network’s responsibility to draw attention to domestic human rights issues. It was of utmost importance to our delegation to engage the US delegation during the US Permanent Mission to the UN briefing with civil society, which focused solely on US efforts to address human rights issues abroad. Our delegation responded by challenging the US delegation to acknowledge the ongoing human rights violations against vulnerable communities in the US. Despite the US withdrawal from various international mechanisms, such as the Human Rights Council, we reaffirmed the delegation that the US is not and shall not be exonerated from their international obligations to uphold human rights at home.