1998: Human Rights Act

The 1998 Human Rights Act was a significant step forward in the fortification of human rights
in the United States. Prior to this legislation, individuals had to rely on international treaties
and conventions to seek redress for human rights abuses. This process was often lengthy and
difficult, making it difficult for victims to seek justice. The Human Rights Act streamlined this
process by incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights into local law, making it
simpler for individuals to sue for human rights abuses.

The United States has had a long antiquity of human rights abuses, particularly against
marginalized groups such as individuals of color and native societies. The Civil Rights
Movement of the 1960s brought attention to these issues and led to the channel of imperative
legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. However,
these laws did not fully address all forms of human rights abuses, and the 1998 Human Rights
Act was a crucial step in further protecting the privileges of all persons in the United States.

The Human Rights Act also marked a shift in the United States’ approach to human rights. Prior
to this legislation, the United States had often been criticized for its lack of compliance with
international human rights norms. The incorporation of the European Convention on Human
Rights into local law was a clear indication that the United States was committed to upholding
human rights and holding individuals and organizations accountable for violations. This was a
positive step towards refining the human rights state in the United States and promoting a
culture of respect for human rights.
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