See Our Impact
We founded Human Rights for Kids to make a real difference. Whether it’s introducing bills or changing perspectives, our team works each day to ensure a more fair future for children. Take a look at what we’ve accomplished.
Since our founding we’ve worked in 18 states and the U.S. Congress. Our work has led to the introduction of 55 different child rights bills and the enactment of 9 new laws to protect children from predators and abuses in the justice system. We‘ve helped to draft these bills, testified before legislative committees dozens of times, organized press conferences, and issued reports detailing human rights abuses against children in the criminal justice system which has brought about significant change. Human Rights for Kids has also submitted three Amicus Briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and three in the state high courts in Maryland, Louisiana, and Washington, arguing against extreme sentences under the 8th Amendment and the deprivation of due process and equal protection rights under the 6th and 14th Amendments.
In 2020 HRFK successfully helped pass HB 744 and HB 746 by Virginia Delegate Vivian Watts (D – 39th District), creating new human rights protections for children in the criminal justice system.
The enactment of HB 744 made the Virginia Legislature the first in the nation to grant judges the discretion to depart from any mandatory minimum when sentencing children in adult court and requires judges to consider a child’s exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences(ACEs) prior to sentencing. HB 746 require parents to be notified by law enforcement iftheir child is arrested and for the child to have contact with them before theycan waive their constitutional rights.
HRFK advocated for the introduction of 3 child sentencing reform bills in Congress and is spear-heading a broad bi-partisan coalition effort to ensure these bills become law! These bills include H.R. 1949, H.R. 1950 (Sara’s Law), and H.R. 1951.
In 2019 HRFK developed and successfully helped pass SB 573 in Arkansas which will allow formerly incarcerated children to be discharged from lifetime post-release supervision and have their voting rights restored!
The new also requires children in Arkansas prison to be given access to the same educational and rehabilitative programming as adults.
One of the most incredibly rewarding parts of our work has been walking alongside fellow advocate and survivor-leader, Sara Kruzan, as we worked to ensure the introduction of “Sara’s Law” around the country and in the U.S. Congress. We made sure that Sara’s voice was heard by policymakers and the public so that our nation understands that what happened to her was a human rights abuse. By recognizing this through the passage of Sara’s Law she will get the public apology that she deserves for being wrongfully imprisoned for nearly two-decades.
HRFK Founder speaks to Attendees
HRFK provided training to more than 100 survivors of sex trafficking to empower them to use advocacy tools and knowledge to change public policy at the 2018 GEMS More Than a Survivor Conference in Oakland, CA.
HRFK Helped Train the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force on Child Labor Trafficking in January 2018.
HRFK Founder, James Dold, Sharing His Experiences as a Survivor of Child Labor Trafficking