Thought Provoking The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today  

Lauren Slocum
9.4k votes 1.3k voters 20.2k views 35 items

List Rules Vote up the civil rights issues you care about most deeply. Vote down the issues you don't think are problems.

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. 

list ordered by

1
427 54
Human Trafficking is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Human Trafficking

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

2
400 75
Sexual Violence And Rape is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Sexual Violence And Rape

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? 

3
388 72
Mental Health Awareness/Suppor... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Mental Health Awareness/Support

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

4
514 127
Racism is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Racism

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?

5
309 77
Homelessness is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Homelessness

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?

 

 

6
273 73
Healthcare is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Healthcare

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. 

7
268 85
Freedom Of Speech is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Freedom Of Speech

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?

8
227 74
Disability Rights is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Disability Rights

From housing to schools to the workplace, are we making sure Americans with disabilities are accommodated? 

9
192 61
Child Labor/Child Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Child Labor/Child Soldiers

Should the United States be doing more to prevent exploitation of children for labor and military services throughout the world? 

10
246 101
Police Brutality is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Police Brutality

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?

11
240 109
Gun Violence And Gun Laws is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Gun Violence And Gun Laws

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? 

12
180 72
Drug Policy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Drug Policy

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. 

13
170 78
Student Loan Debt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Student Loan Debt

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. 

14
217 120
Gender Equality is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Gender Equality

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? 

15
159 83
Sentencing Policies is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Sentencing Policies

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?

16
138 68
Surveillance is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Surveillance

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? 

17
190 108
Women's Rights is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Women's Rights

From equal pay to sexual harassment, many believe women still face unfair discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere. 

18
133 74
Torture is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Torture

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? 

19
112 58
Labor Rights is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Labor Rights

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

20
123 70
Migration is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Migration

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? 

21
116 66
Prison And Jail Conditions is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Prison And Jail Conditions

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? 

22
136 90
Abortion is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Abortion

Many feel abortion is a safe, necessary medical procedure, and restricting abortion access is a civil rights violation. 

23
102 61
Voter ID Laws is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Voter ID Laws

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. 

24
104 67
DACA and the DREAM Act is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
DACA and the DREAM Act

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was initiated by Obama in 2012 and allowed those who entered the country illegally as minors to defer deportation and receive a work permit. In late 2017, Trump announced he would be ending the DACA program in 2018. 

25
106 72
Cyberbullying is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Cyberbullying

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.

26
97 65
Refugee Rights is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Refugee Rights

What should America's role be in immigration? And once a refugee seeks asylum in this country, what should their path to citizenship look like?

27
90 66
School Discipline Policies is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
School Discipline Policies

Are all students disciplined equally? Or do gender and race play a role in disciplinary actions? Some feel students of color are targeted over their white classmates for similar offenses and wrongdoings. 

28
71 49
Unemployment is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Unemployment

We saw unemployment rates go down drastically in Obama's second term, and it continues to move down in 2018. However, unemployment rates remain high for some racial and ethnic minorities, even though data shows high rates of education and skill within these populations. Is discrimination to blame? 

29
71 51
Forced Disappearances is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Forced Disappearances

In some countries, people are secretly abducted and then imprisoned by the state. How many more will go missing before we find a way to combat the powerful and corrupt establishments orchestrating such abductions?

30
72 56
Capital Punishment is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Capital Punishment

2016 marked the lowest number of executions in the past 25 years, but the US is still one of the only developed countries that believes in capital punishment, along with China, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Pakistan. Is capital punishment a fair consequence of crime or a human rights violation? 

31
65 50
Housing Discrimination is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Housing Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act of 1988 prevents landlords and real estate agents from discriminating based on gender, race, disability, familial status, and national origin. Are we doing enough to make sure this act is enforced? Given some cities remain heavily segregated, are all Americans really treated equally when it comes to applying for leases and mortgages? 

32
102 102
Sexual Orientation And Gender ... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity

While employment discrimination against gender is prohibited, the DOJ recently disclosed that the Gender Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act provides no protection from discrimination while at work. This and other issues - such as hate crimes, marriage equality, and the right to enlist in the military - put LGBT rights at the forefront of the minds of many. 

33
100 100
White Supremacy Movement is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
White Supremacy Movement

In the past year, there's been a steep rise in public white supremacy activism. Over a dozen rallies have been held and, in some of these cases, the government defines their actions as freedom of speech. At what cost? 

34
22 19
LGBTQ+ Rights is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
jasminegrogg added LGBTQ+ Rights

35
55 69
Targeted Killings And Drones is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Important Civil Rights Issues Today
Targeted Killings And Drones

Are drone attacks counterterrorism or the mass killing of innocent people?