A non-governmental organization or NGO is an organization whose efforts are local, national or even international. This can be non-profits or simply voluntary groups made up of particular citizenry. These groups serve a common interest and are normally geared toward a particular task. They commonly become the voice of the groups in which they advocate in expressing their concerns to government entities.
Additionally, they track the policies of these entities and advocate their advance through initiatives and advocating beneficial laws. In contrast, they may head efforts to protest certain governmental and corporate entities when the policies of these entities are antithesis to their causes. Even when these NGOs are global, they have local offices in metropolitan centers and areas of need such as San Francisco.
ACCESS/Women’s Health Rights Coalition
ACCESS advocates women’s rights issues especially in choice and reproductive rights for all women. They target their constituencies directly and by advocating policies that effect women positively. They also reach them through community education initiatives. They advocate reproductive and medical access for women of color, low income and those that live in rural or otherwise isolated areas.
ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
The Immigrants’ Rights Project is a nationwide project that is directed from their parent foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation. They have offices in California and New York. They defend immigrants rights through several efforts which include public outreach, advocacy and through targeted litigation that is designed to have major impact on their causes.
Amnesty International USA Group 30
Amnesty international is a true NGO. It is an independent organization that spans the entire world. They are dedicated to freeing political prisoners and prisoners that are being tortured, executed or otherwise inhumanely treated. They advocate speedy trials that are open and fair. Amnesty International USA Group 30 has two branches in San Francisco.
Business for Social Responsibility
The Business for Social Responsibility was founded in the bay area in 1992. Known as BSR, this NGO works with companies to develop business practices that respect people, communities, the environment and the values of those entities. They are a global resource for businesses that are imbibing these principles.
Center for Justice and Accountability
The CJA advocates the elimination of torture and human rights abuses internationally. Additionally, they assist survivors of these atrocities in bringing their torturers to justice. CJA utilizes the legal system in these efforts as well as the development of laws in places that practice these abuses.