Miami

The Miami Committee is part of the global Human Rights Watch Council - a network of 1,000 informed and engaged opinion leaders in 33 cities around the globe.

As the Miami Committee of Human Rights Watch, we play a central role in raising awareness in Miami of local and global human rights issues, generating financial support for the organization's mission, and mobilizing the public to defend basic freedoms for all. Together, we play a key role in defending human rights by ensuring that human rights issues remain high on the public agenda in our city. 

News

  •   Human Rights Watch Miami, in collaboration with Fellows of the New World Symphony, invites you to join us for a one-of-a-kind musical storytelling performance and discussion.

    Tune in from 7:00 - 8:30pm EST on Thursday, April 22 for the live virtual event, "Being Black in America: An evening of music, storytelling, and real talk about racial inequality and policing in the US," including a conversation between Human Rights Watch Executive Director of US Program, Nicole Austin-Hillery and renowned musician Awadagin Pratt.

    The evening is generously hosted by Human Rights Watch Miami Co-Chair and New World Symphony Trustee, Bill Kleh.

    Click Here to Register!
  • WHAT: Us Kids Film Screening & Live Panel Discussion on Celebrating Youth Changing the Course of History: A Quest for Moral Leadership

    WHEN: Thursday, February 11, 2021

    WHERE: Virtual panel / discussion

    The second installment of HRW Miami’s Salon Series was hosted on February 11th, 2021 and featured a panel discussion following the exclusive film screening of Us Kids, an award-winning documentary by Kim A. Snyder that chronicles the March For Our Lives movement sparked by student activists and survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th, 2018. The virtual event, hosted by HRW Miami Committee member Shelley Frost Rubin, featured speakers including Parkland shooting survivor and youth activist Samantha Fuentes, mother of Parkland shooting victim Annika Dworet, and Us Kids filmmaker Kim A. Snyder.

    The event included an original poetry reading by Samantha Fuentes and discussion about the power of youth activists’ quest for moral leadership in the US and abroad.

  • WHAT: A celebration of human rights on the eve of Human Rights Day

    WHEN: Wednesday, December 9, 2020

    WHERE: Virtual gathering

    On December 9th, 2020, the eve of International Human Rights Day, the Miami Committee of Human Rights Watch joined in a virtual gathering to celebrate the accomplishments of an extraordinarily consequential year for human rights. Human Rights Day is an internationally recognized time to bring attention to the rights we all share—to live, love, think, speak, work and worship, regardless of how we look, where we were born, or what we believe. Each year on December 10th, countries across the globe light up their monuments and landmarks in observance of how far we’ve come and as a reminder for how much we have left to achieve.

    For over 40 years, Human Rights Watch has been one of the world's leading independent organizations dedicated to protecting human rights. We catalyze momentum for change by conducting rigorous fact finding, proposing effective policy solutions, and broadcasting our message to the world – all in collaboration with our partners and those impacted by abuse. Our supporters make it possible to act as an effective leader in confronting some of the greatest challenges of our time and defend the rights and dignity of people worldwide.  

  • WHAT: Panel discussion on protecting voters' rights in the 2020 Presidential Election

    WHEN: Thursday, October 15, 2020

    WHERE: Virtual panel / discussion

    During a time of social distancing, Human Rights Watch Miami has created a Salon Series to encourage an interactive dialogue inspired by the original salons in 18th century France. Like those salons, our goal is to host events that will ignite learning, debate, and inclusivity, and help to engage the community around important issues of the day.

    Just under a month before Election Day 2020, on October 15th HRW Miami hosted its first event in the newly introduced Salon Series: Protecting Voters’ Rights in Florida. With Florida being a key swing state in a highly contested election, HRW Miami partnered with Engage Miami and LatinoJustice PRLDEF to inform listeners of the challenges faced in protecting the right to vote in Florida and share solutions that our organizations are advocating for.

    The panel featured HRW’s US Program Executive Director Nicole Austin-Hillery, Organizing Director of Engage Miami Gilbert Placeres, and President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF Juan Cartagena.

  • WHAT: A conversation with HRW's Executive Director, Ken Roth

    WHEN: Wednesday, June 10, 2020

    WHERE: Virtual gathering / discussion

    On Wednesday, June 10th, the Miami Committee of Human Rights Watch hosted a virtual gathering with Executive Director Ken Roth to discuss new challenges and human rights implications of the Coronavirus pandemic and the innovative ways in which Human Rights Watch is uniquely poised to tackle them. Topics of discussion included the inequitable impact of Covid-19 on women and incarcerated people in the US, the devastating repercussions of the pandemic on worker's rights, and the global trend of governments withholding emergency-level assistance and information on public health and safety.

    This meeting provided Committee members with the designated opportunity to directly ask questions of Human Rights Watch's lead protagonist on advancing the organization's ability to implement rights-respecting change around the world.

  • WHAT: 4th Annual Miami Voices for Justice Dinner

    WHEN: Wednesday, March 4, 2020

    WHERE: New World Center

    On Wednesday, March 4th, 2020, before the world shut down in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch Miami hosted its fourth annual Voices for Justice Dinner at the New World Center on Miami Beach, co-Chaired by Maria C. Bechily, Joy Stampler-Fishman, William Kleh, and Shelley Frost Rubin. 

    The Dinner program focused on a central theme, "Crossing Borders." Over 240 guests gathered to hear a powerful keynote address by Human Rights Watch international Board Chair, Amy Rao, and inspiring, hope-filled stories about people on the move from Human Rights Watch's LGBT Rights Researcher Kyle Knight, US Program and Immigration Researcher Grace Meng, and Rohingya writer and activist Irman Mohammad. A special musical performance was led by New World Symphony fellow, Andrea Beyer.

    Each year the Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Annual Dinners celebrate human rights defenders from around the world who put their lives at risk to protect the rights and dignity of others. These dinners gather over 6,800 supporters in more than 20 cities worldwide.

    The event was a great success, raising nearly $500,000 for the organization's continued efforts to protect and defend the rights of the world's most vulnerable populations.

  • WHAT: Film Screening & Panel Discussion
    WHEN: Tuesday, October 22, 2019
    WHERE: Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts

    Human Rights Watch partnered with the Green Family Foundation to host this screening of the powerful documentary film CHARM CITY, which delivers a candid portrait of citizens, police, community advocates, and government officials on the front lines during three years of unparalleled violence in Baltimore. The film speaks to a nationwide crisis, exposing layers of disconnect and distrust between communities and law enforcement.

    After the screening, Human Rights Watch Criminal Justice Researcher John Raphling participated in a Q&A with filmmaker Marilyn Ness and Branden Jones from the Circle of Brotherhood. CHARM CITY and the panel discussion illustrated how the US has increasingly relied on law enforcement to solve public health issues like poverty, mental health crises, and gun violence. Over a hundred participants joined us in considering actions undertaken by national and local groups working towards exposing abuses and achieving justice.


  • WHAT: Cocktail Reception and Discussion
    WHEN: Tuesday, September 24, 2019
    WHERE: Istituto Marangoni Miami

    Human Rights Watch Miami Committee members Adrienne bon Haes and Soledad Picon co-hosted an event that invited members of South Florida’s garment industry to discuss abuses in the garment industry. HRW senior counsel for the Women’s Rights division detailed her work on transparency and labor abuses in the garment industry, focusing on its effect on workers in India, Bangladesh and throughout Southeast Asia. The talk focused on harassment in the workplace, low wages, physical dangers, and more.

    Adrienne bon Haes, the evening’s moderator, is well-known in the Miami community as an artist, designer, and textile collector. When discussing the importance of events like these, she remarked, “we want to make sure when our concerned community is talking about sustainability, they are also including ethics in that dialogue. We don’t want the well-being of workers to be left out of this equation.”

    The event was sponsored by Fever-Tree and Tito's Handmade Vodka.

  • WHAT: Private Breakfast Briefing

    WHEN: Friday, July 12th

    WHERE: United Way of Miami Dade

    Human Rights Watch Miami committee members Soledad Picón and Adrienne bon Haes hosted a private breakfast briefing with Amanda Klasing, the acting co-director of the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch, to discuss the  current state of women’s rights in the U.S. and around the world. Amanda shared an off-the-record briefing on her recent work, as well as discussed strategies for defending women’s rights globally. Her work has focused on sexual and domestic violence, reproductive rights and women's health, indigenous rights, and economic and social rights.

    This is a particularly challenging time for women’s rights in the U.S. and around the world. Amanda shared her expert knowledge acquired through years of investigative work on issues as diverse as child marriage, access to healthcare and cervical cancer screenings, and harassment and violence in the workplace. Human Rights Watch’s campaign to end child marriage has had tangible impact, especially on local legislation and implementation. Amanda also detailed the successes and challenges in working with the International Labor Organization to adopt the ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment.

     

  • WHAT: Lunch Briefing
    WHEN: Thursday, March 28, 2019
    HOST: Susan Werth, Miami Committee

    On March 28th, Human Rights Watch’s Senior Immigration Researcher Clara Long, shared her experience monitoring the conditions of unaccompanied immigrant children held in the Homestead Immigration Detention Center.

    Homestead houses over 2,500 teenaged migrants who are surrounded by tall fences, under constant watch by guards, and not permitted to leave. The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) claims that Homestead is an "emergency influx shelter" and therefore, falls outside the jurisdiction of the Flores Agreement. This loophole leaves vulnerable young people unprotected from the harms of indefinite, inhumane detention.

    Clara’s trip to the Homestead Detention Center is part of a series of visits and dispatches to the US border in recent months by Human Rights Watch. A future report, and her broader investigative work, will be the foundation for our advocacy work to pass rights respecting immigration policies in the U.S.

  • WHAT: Voices for Justice Annual Miami Dinner
    WHEN: Thursday, March 14th, 2019
    WHERE: New World Symphony

    Human Rights Watch Miami hosted its third Voices for Justice Annual Dinner at the New World Symphony two weeks ago. Each year the Voices for Justice Annual Dinners celebrate human rights defenders from around the world who put their lives at risk to protect the rights and dignity of others. The dinners gather over 6,800 supporters in more than 20 cities worldwide.

    In Miami, this year’s dinner was our most successful yet—raising just over half a million dollars for Human Rights Watch.

    The dinner program consisted of four speakers all known for their commitment to defending human rights in times of crisis. This year’s Defenders of the Truth, Managing Director Nic Dawes, Senior Iraq Researcher Belkis Wille, Emergencies Researcher Johnathan Pedneault, and Brazil Director Maria Laura Canineu, shared their stories about making meaningful change in some of the world’s most challenging environments. Inspirational musical performances by the New World Symphony Fellows and Guitar over Guns musicians were provided throughout the dinner.

    We are deeply grateful for our donors’ invaluable support, whose generosity will enable our researchers and advocates to continue their meticulous investigations and to expose the world’s most pressing human rights violations. A special thank you to our Dinner Co-Chairs, Joy Fishman, William Kleh, and Shelley Frost Rubin who helped make this evening such a success.

  • WHAT: Cocktail Reception and Discussion
    WHEN: Thursday, December 6th, 2018
    WHERE: Setai Hotel

    Human Rights Watch Board Member Paul Gray and Dedrea Gray of the Richard Gray Gallery, in collaboration with the Miami Circle of Friends generously hosted a reception discussing the connection between arts, free expression and human rights. For Human Rights Watch Deputy Program Director Tom Porteous, this topic has resonance. Tom eloquently described how viewing a Francisco Goya painting of the Spanish Civil War that portrayed war as a devastating crisis rather than a heroic endeavor, led him on a path of journalism, diplomacy and advocacy.

    For over 40 years, Human Rights Watch has been a fierce defender of civil society and the most vulnerable people worldwide, including journalists, authors and artists. This reception, hosted during Art Basel Miami, brought together the global arts community who share these values and have a critical role to play in facing these challenges.

  • WHAT: Freedom Tower Goes Blue for Human Rights Day
    WHEN: Monday, December 10th, at sunset
    WHERE: Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd.
     

    Miami Dade College (MDC) illuminated its historic Freedom Tower bright blue at sunset, Monday, Dec. 10, in support of Human Rights Day 2018. This year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, MDC joined other iconic buildings around the world in a display of support for human rights under the guidance of MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón. Dr. Padrón, a Cuban immigrant, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2016 and is a member of the Miami Circle of Friends of Human Rights Watch.
     
    Human Rights Day celebrates the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. The Universal Declaration delineated, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected. The declaration has since been translated into over 500 languages. This year, in partnership with Human Rights Watch, over 25 landmarks shone blue in solidarity with the human rights movement and the values we work to defend.