Who We Are

Our Purpose

Rights Working Group (RWG) formed in the aftermath of September 11th to promote and protect the human rights of all people in the United States. A coalition of more than 350 local, state and national organizations, RWG works collaboratively to advocate for the civil liberties and human rights of everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, citizenship or immigration status.


Rights Working Group envisions a society where people live with freedom, respect, dignity and equality and strong protections of their civil liberties and human rights, particularly the right to due process and equal protection under the law.


Rights Working Group convenes and mobilizes its diverse constituencies and amplifies their efforts to hold the U.S. government accountable to protecting human rights, focusing on the evolving connections among national security, counter-terrorism, immigration enforcement and criminal justice policies and systems.

Core Values

The following core values underpin the coalition’s work:

Human rights for all. Rights Working Group believes that all people have fundamental, inalienable rights under the U.S. Constitution and international law that deserve the full and equal protection of the law.

Leadership of those directly affected. RWG believes that those individuals and communities who are most affected by rights violations should lead the organizing and advocacy to demand change. We value the work of member organizations on the ground as critical to the leadership of our campaigns.

Diversity and equity. RWG is committed to a leadership structure that represents diverse communities and to advancing an agenda that promotes equity for all.

Collaboration. RWG’s strength rests in its commitment to effective collaboration that seeks to bring about broad systemic change and a racially just society.

Transparency and accountability. RWG is committed to transparent and open communications about our goals, strategies and campaigns in order to enable our constituencies to hold us accountable for the work.

Our Principles

Protecting civil liberties and human rights for all is a core American value. Below are the Principles that guide our work:

  1. Ensure due process and the right to a fair trialfor all people jailed by the government, including meaningful access to the courts, the right to counsel, the right to know the charge against them, and the right to a fair bond.
  2. End arbitrary and indefinite detentions and arbitrary and unfair deportations.
  3. Ensure that government authorities do not subject anyone to cruel or abusive treatment or torture.
  4. End selective enforcement of the laws, including immigration laws based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or gender, as well as, speech or belief.
  5. Ensure that the United States is a safe haven from persecution with fair and just asylum procedures.
  6. Protect everyone's rights to privacy and right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures, including upholding constitutional limits on secret surveillance.
  7. Protect everyone's right to free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, including the right to dissent, without fear of government spying or intimidation.
  8. Respect the First Amendment and preserve the principle of open government by ending secret arrests, secret detentions, and secret trials.