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State and local governments play an essential role in promoting and protecting human rights. Within the United States, agencies and officials at the municipal, city, county and state levels can help fulfill human rights by ensuring dignity, equality and opportunity for everyone in their jurisdiction.

Recognizing the value of human rights, state and local agencies and officials across the United States are incorporating international human rights standards in their daily work. As illustrated by examples throughout this report, integrating human rights into local law, policy and practice can enhance government decision-making and respond directly to local needs. It also allows agencies and officials to bring positive attention to their jurisdiction.

This report offers concrete recommendations for state and local governments to advance local policy using a human rights framework. Drawing from initiatives in a number of U.S. towns, cities, states and counties, these recommendations suggest a promising starting point for achieving equity and meeting basic needs.