You Have Rights

Legal Rights for Immigrant and Religious Communities and Communities of Color in NYC.

You do have the right

Learn how to contact the Commission when you experience discrimination by downloading our resource list.

About the Campaign

The NYC Commission on Human Rights launched this citywide anti-discrimination campaign to affirm New Yorker's right to live, work, and pray free from discrimination and harassment. The campaign, which included ads, PSA videos, and community events, follows a significant increase in reports of discrimination and bias incidents in NYC to the NYC Commission on Human Rights.

  • The Commission saw a 60 percent increase in overall reports of discrimination and bias incidents in 2016, a trend that continued into 2017.
  • Reports of discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, and immigration status increased by 30 percent in 2016.
  • The Commission in 2017 investigated over 30 percent more complaints of discrimination than the same time last year, with more than 1,600 open cases of discrimination in May 2017 (launch date of this campaign) compared to 1,200 in May 2016.
  • More than 40 percent of all open cases at the Commission (more than 700 cases) involve discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, and immigration status.
  • In fact, the Commission more than doubled the number of investigations into race, religion, national origin, and immigration status over the last two years, filing 823 complaints in those areas in 2016 and 2015 combined compared to 418 complaints in 2014 and 2013 combined.

Every New Yorker has the right to live free from discrimination and harassment. The NYC Human Rights Law, enforced by the NYC Commission on Human Rights, is one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country, and protects you from discrimination based on race, color, religion, immigration status, national origin, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, among other protected categories.

In this city, you have the right to file a complaint with the Commission when you feel you have experienced discrimination. If you feel you have been discriminated against, take action. Contact the NYC Commission on Human Rights at (212) 416-0197 or visit your local Community Service Center.

In the News

Publications & Materials



I should have the right to be who I am, without being worried for my own safety.
I should have the right to speak to my kids in Spanish, without someone telling me to speak English.
I should have the right to rent an available apartment, without being told it's not available to me.

I should have the right to take pride in my heritage, without being told to go back to my country.
I should have the right to wear what my faith calls for, without being called a threat.
I should have the right to get a job, without being denied because of my skin tone or name.

Debería tener el derecho de hablarle a mis hijos en espa&ntile;ol sin que me digan que debo hablarles en inglés


The Commission hosted a series of community events tied to the campaign to further educate the City's diverse communities about their rights and how to file discrimination complaints with the Commission. These "You Do Have the Right in Your Neighborhood" events, throughout Spring/Summer 2017, ranged from panel discussions on race, faith, culture, and human rights to festivals that celebrate diverse communities and the values that unite them and make them stronger against discrimination. Listed below are some of the events that took place.

Event Borough
May 22, 6PM to 8PM
Different Faiths, One Struggle: The NYC Commission on Human Rights, alongside JCC Harlem and Council Member Bill Perkins, will host a forum to discuss the crucial role faith communities played during the Civil Rights Movement and how faith communities can partner with city government to continue to protect human rights.

Location: JCC Harlem, 318 W 118th St, New York, NY 10026
June 15, 7PM to 9:30PM
Interfaith LGBT Iftar Dinner: The Commission will join with LGBTQ and Muslim groups to co-sponsor an Interfaith LGBT Iftar to celebrate Pride & Ramadan.

Location: The LGBT Center 218 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011
June 16, 7:30AM - 9:30AM
Transit Day of Outreach in support of You Do Have The Right NYC Campaign.
June 16
Iftar in the City: The Commission will join the Mayor's Offices of Immigrant Affairs and Community Affairs Unit to host the "Longest Table" iftar event in the heart of New York City, bringing together Muslim and non-Muslim communities to celebrate diversity and fight Islamophobia.

Location: Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
June 18, 5PM to 7:30PM
"Loving Staten Island" Friendship Dinner: The Commission will join Project Hospitality for a dinner to bring together Staten Islanders from different neighborhoods, faith traditions, and ethnic backgrounds to discuss how communities can combat discrimination.

Location: Pride Center of State Island, 24 Victory Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10301
Staten Island
June 24, 10:30AM to 2PM
The Commission will co-host a domestic workers convening with Department of Consumer Affairs and Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, along with partner organizations National Domestic Workers Alliance, Cornell ILR, and Adhikaar.

Location: PS 69, 77-02 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
June 29, 6PM to 8PM
Race, Community, and Human Rights in Bed-Stuy: A Conversation (June 20, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.) The Commission will host a panel discussion featuring L. Joy Williams of the NAACP, Kirsten Foy of the National Action Network, Rabbi Bob Kaplan of The Center for Community Leadership, and Dr. Alfonso Wyatt of the Jericho Faith-Based Technical Assistance Project, to lead a community conversation on the role that local government can play in protecting human rights in the face of demographic change in the traditionally Black community of Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Location: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216