In a world where stem cell research, robotics, and space travel are commonplace, it's baffling that the civil rights issues listed below are still dominating headlines around the globe. Humanity has made incredible progress in medicine, technology, and agriculture, yet every week there's a new hashtag or protest bringing to light a violation of our most basic civil rights: political and social freedom.
From the late 1940s to the late 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement defended discrimination against African Americans as well as their right to vote. Today, we continue a similar fight that's grown in scope but still revolves around the same basic issues. Hashtags like #Blacklivesmatter, #MeToo, #Dreamers, #Bringbackourgirls, and #WomensMarch have dominated the internet in the past year, highlighting current civil rights debates and issues. Though we've made substantial progress, the current problems are just as daunting as the ones that caused sit-ins and boycotts 60 years ago.
Which human rights issues are the most important to you? Civil rights in the United States vary from other country's civil issues, but this list isn't limited to issues only seen in the states. Vote up the topic you think is the biggest civil rights issue.
The criminal industry of human trafficking takes away millions of lives per year and brings in billions of dollars of revenue. Human traffic affects almost every country on the planet. Learn more here.
Sexual harassment and assault seem to be rampant in the workplace and college campuses across the country. Are we doing enough to protect Americans from sexual predators?
Some people think it's more relevant than ever while others think we left racial injustices back in the 20th century. What do you think?
One in five Americans are diagnosed with a mental health condition. Yet, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental illness and many people fear reaching out to get help. Should we be doing more to support those suffering from mental illness?
In America alone, over half a million people sleep on the streets and many homeless people have untreated mental health issues. How big of an issue is homelessness to us as a nation? What do we do to prevent the number of homeless from growing?
Not all Americans have equal access to affordable healthcare. People with preexisting conditions and people in lower income brackets may struggle to find affordable care.
There are more public platforms than ever, allowing an outlet for passionate conversations and opinionated statements. How much can big businesses censor this type of conversation? When does censorship because an attack on our first amendment rights?
From housing to schools to the workplace, are we making sure Americans with disabilities are accommodated?
Should the United States be doing more to prevent exploitation of children for labor and military services throughout the world?
Some feel it's their right to own a firearm for personal protection. Others feel protecting the community at large from potentially dangerous gun owners should take precedence. Where do you stand?
Over the last decade we've seen too many headlines announcing police killed or severely injured an unarmed black man or woman. A majority of the responsible officers aren't even charged with murder. How do we stay safe from the people who are supposed to be protecting us?
Advocates for drug policy reform say addiction is a medical issue that should be treated instead of punished. Also, the majority of people incarcerated for drug related crimes are African American, so many feel the Drug War is deeply racially biased.
Do predatory lending institutions take advantage of low income students? Many people feel the student loan crisis is a civil rights issue, as the economically disadvantaged are often pressured into taking out massive loans that they can never pay off.
While advocates for border walls and travel bans claim our country lacks the resources to take in new citizens, many people feel racially based fears are the driving force behind closing our borders. What's the most ethical way we can approach immigration into the United States?
African Americans and Hispanics together make up more than 50% of prison populations while only constituting about 32% of the overall US population. Are sentencing policies fair and ethical? Or does our judicial system sentence based on race and gender?
From equal pay to sexual harassment, many believe women still face unfair discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere.
Regardless of how you identify, all persons should have the same opportunities. Are people of all genders treated equally in education, the work force, entertainment, or other places?
The garment and agricultural industry have been abusing child and forced labor laws for decades. If you're against the assembly line exploitation of children and adults, learn what you can do to help here.
What does privacy even mean in the 21st century? With microphones in cellphones and cameras on laptops, the fine print is allowing our daily lives to be followed, tracked, and turned into algorithms to encourage our consumption. Is the government infringing on our right to privacy?
Many feel abortion is a safe, necessary medical procedure, and restricting abortion access is a civil rights violation.
Are Voter ID Laws a valid way to ensure everyone votes legally or a means to keep certain Americans from reaching the polls? Some feel Voter ID Laws are a sly way to prevent people from certain racial groups and people from low income communities from voting.
Should torture be an ethical and permissible means for our government to obtain important information? Or is it cruel and unusual punishment that should be outlawed?
What was once bullying on the playground has morphed, with the age of electronics, into defamation of character via cyber attacks. Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and a handful of other platforms make cyberbullying easy and accessible and it's causing serious mental issues in the youths of today.
African Americans and Hispanic Americans are incarcerated at significantly higher rates than white Americans, and Americans in lower income brackets also serve time far more often than the wealthy. Is our prison system unfairly prejudiced?