Human Rights for Kids is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the most vulnerable and victimized children in society through research, public education, grassroots organizing, policy advocacy, and strategic litigation. The organization’s overarching goal is to shift current policies and systems away from a punitive model and toward a human rights framework that is child-centered, trauma-informed, and gives children the support they need to reach their full potential. As a Stoneleigh Foundation grantee, Human Rights for Kids will (1) pilot a fellowship program for formerly incarcerated survivors of childhood sexual abuse and trafficking to undergo leadership development, training, and mentorship and (2) create a community of respite and support for survivors who are engaged in education and advocacy work.
Human Rights for Kids’ work has led to the introduction of more than fifty bills in state legislatures and the U.S. Congress, including the adoption of nine new state laws to protect children. In addition, the organization has submitted three amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and three in State Supreme Courts, arguing against child rights’ violations in the criminal legal system.
Among other efforts, Human Rights for Kids’ advocacy has provided child sex crime survivors with a powerful platform to educate policymakers. With Stoneleigh Foundation support, Human Rights for Kids will name Sara Kruzan as its inaugural Stoneleigh Fellow. For the past several years, Sara, who is a survivor of child trafficking, has collaborated with Human Rights for Kids to develop a slate of eponymous policies—collectively known as “Sara’s Law”—to protect child sex crime survivors from lengthy prison sentences for acts of violence committed against their abusers. This model policy has been introduced in more than a half dozen states and in the U.S. Congress.