Lawyers Committee for Human Rights

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Alternate Names: Human Rights First, Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights
Duration: 1978 - current
Location: New York, New York, United States

In the mid-1970s, the International League for Human Rights and a junior bar association called the Council of New York Law Associates (now named the Lawyers Alliance for New York) joined together to launch the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights (which subsequently became the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights).  Since its founding in 1978, the organization has focused on protecting the rights of refugees, supporting human rights defenders around the world, and pressing for the U.S. government’s full participation in the international human rights system.  The organization published reports on failed justice systems in a number of countries including Liberia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. In 1978 Michael Posner became the first executive director. In 2003 the name was changed to Human Rights First. (Source: Lawyers Committee for Human Rights documents; and Wikipedia at accessed August 10, 2015.)