Human rights in elections
Amnesty International USA, as a non-partisan organization, neither supports nor opposes any candidate in any election. Instead, we work to ensure that all candidates elected to office and all voters have the information they need to center human rights. We believe that human rights should be at the forefront of domestic and foreign policy in the United States, regardless of who’s in office.
It is important for voters to have the tools to take a stand for human rights during elections because the policies and actions of elected officials have a direct impact on human rights – by understanding the human rights position on various issues, voters can make informed decisions during elections about candidates that align with human rights. Below are just some of the reasons why this matters:
Elected officials have the power to create, modify, or abolish laws, policies and practices that impact human rights positively or negatively. They also can make choices to fully implement, fund and monitor human rights-respecting state action.
The human rights stance of elected officials in the United States can have global impacts. If leaders in the United States disregards human rights, it may embolden others to do the same. On the other hand, leaders who prioritize human rights can inspire and encourage the leaders of other nations to follow suit and can use their influence to champion human rights on the global stage.
Political leaders influence issues such as criminal justice reform, gender equality, LGBTQIA+ rights, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, disability rights, and more.
Political leaders influence the enactment of policies protecting the rights of those most at risk from different forms of oppression or human rights abuses, including Black and Brown people, refugees, migrants, and people with low incomes or living below the poverty line.
Members of the human rights movement have a vested interest in closely engaging in elections. By doing so, we can inform our voting decisions, shape our advocacy strategies, and work towards a government that will respect, protect and fulfill human rights.