Every Child
Deserves Hope

We’re a non-profit dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights for children. We advocate for the most vulnerable and victimized children in society through research, public education, grassroots organizing, policy advocacy, and strategic litigation. Learn more about our mission and find out how you can get involved.

Advancing Child Justice Reform

Each year, thousands of children are unfairly prosecuted, sentenced and incarcerated in the adult criminal justice system. They often receive longer sentences, fewer opportunities for education and growth, and are at an increased risk for physical and sexual violence. The vast majority of these children have experienced high levels of early childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences which is why they ended up in the justice system to begin with. The practice of ignoring child status in the criminal justice system, results in children being condemned to a life of continued abuse, hardship, poor health, lengthy incarceration and even early death. At Human Rights for Kids, we believe there is no such thing as a “throw away” child and we work relentlessly to ensure that every child who comes into conflict with the law is treated in a trauma-informed and age-appropriate manner to promote their growth and re-entry into society so that they may reach their full potential and lead long, healthy and productive lives.

Human Rights for Kids Lawyers consulting and courthouse pillars near Capitol building

Our Approach

Real change requires an ever-expanding coalition. We’ve developed a unique, proven approach we call “Ripples of Hope” that engages policymakers, advocates and system stakeholders to increase protections for vulnerable children across the United States. Through this strategy, we achieve policy reforms in various regions of the country, creating momentum that then translates to wide-scale, systemic change. Learn more about how we’re making a tangible difference.

Our Impact

Since launching in 2017, we’ve measured our work by the impact it makes. Whether we’re helping to introduce bills in state legislatures or Congress or submitting Amicus Briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, our mantra is simple: turn advocacy into results. We’ve made great strides. You can help us take our work even further.


children impacted by our advocacy


child rights bills introduced in state legislatures and the U.S. Congress


new laws enacted to protect children’s human rights


amicus briefs we’ve authored and submitted in U.S. Courts


correspondence sent to or received by people who have been incarcerated since childhood


states we’ve worked in


Unheard: The Epidemic of Severe Childhood Trauma Among Girls Tried as Adults

This groundbreaking report is based on a first-of-its-kind survey that examined the prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and severe childhood trauma among women who were tried and convicted as adults for crimes they committed as children. The report highlights how child sexual (84%), physical (84%), and emotional abuse (92%) are ubiquitous among girls who are tried in the adult criminal justice system, where their victimization is largely ignored. Most of the women surveyed in the report came from broken homes where parental separation, household incarceration, domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental illness were the norm.

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Human Rights for Kids Child with hand over mouth and child inside jail cell