In the wake of World War II, the United Nations passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The document was intended to prevent the kind of atrocities the world had just witnessed from reoccurring in the future.

More than 60 years later, as the Utne Reader’s January-February 2012 human rights package illustrates (“Tortured,” “The CIA in Somalia,” “Jihad Against Islam”), the world continues to struggle to meet the principles put forward in the text.

Several groups continue to fight for the ideals that were set forth, however. And they need your help. Here is a partial list of some of your options, vetted using Charity Navigator.

Human Rights Watch 
This fact-finding nonprofit has spent the last three decades sorting out often complicated human rights issues. The organization has deployed on-the-ground monitors to 80 countries around the world, and their team of academics, journalists and lawyers publish more than 100 policy-shaping reports every year. Their funding comes entirely from private individuals and foundations. hrw.org                                                                                                    

Human Rights First 
Founded in 1978, Human Rights First offers direct legal services to refugees and asylum seekers, fights against hate crimes, works with retired military leaders on issues of torture and detention, and works to quell mass atrocities by putting pressure on third-party enablers. A nonpartisan, nonprofit based in New York and Washington D.C., the organization accepts no government funding. humanrightsfirst.org 

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