Skip to main content

Commission on Human Rights

Logo: Dutchess County Human Rights Commission

Dutchess County is committed to ensuring our community is inclusive and respectful for all, with the human rights of every individual protected and championed.


The mission of the Commission on Human Rights Commission is defending human rights, bridging differences and embracing diversity.

If you believe you have a human rights issue, please contact us so that we can discuss the situation with you and help you decide the best course of action.  This may include, but is not limited to, filing a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) White Plains office.

To Report a Hate or Bias Incident:

If you have experienced a hate or bias incident, you can confidentially report it to the Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights by: emailing us at or calling 845-486-2836. If this is an emergency, contact 911.

If you think that the incident may be a hate crime you may also contact local law enforcement, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office 845-486-3800 and/or the NYS Hate Crimes Hotline 1-888-392-3644.

News and Announcements

DCCHR Statement on the shootings in Buffalo, Dallas and Laguna Woods

The Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights is devastated and outraged by the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, Dallas and Laguna Woods.  Eleven people have been murdered in these attacks, with more injured.  Occurring within days of one another, two of these crimes appear to have specifically targeted people based on the color of their skin.  In Dallas, Texas, three Korean American businesses were targeted.  Eleven of the thirteen people shot in Buffalo were Black and the multitude of evidence left behind by the shooter leaves little doubt as to his hate-fueled motivation.  

**With respect to Laguna Woods, California, information has emerged from the affected community that the shooting at the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church was carried out by a person who is also Taiwanese, and not from mainland China as had been earlier reported.  

We mourn for all of the individuals lost this weekend, who will be denied the beauty of sunrises and sunsets, birthday celebrations and many joyous occasions with family and friends.  We are united in our support as together we grieve the loss of lives with their families and community.

The Commission has documented numerous hate-based incidents and crimes in Dutchess County directed against our Asian-American and African-American communities.  Members of our Asian-American communities have been spit on while walking down the street, been told to “get away from me,” and received angry stares while standing in a grocery line six feet apart.  Our African-American community has been targeted with slurs on public property; Black Lives Matter yard signs repeatedly destroyed and vandalized; Confederate flags flown on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday; and most recently, an offense charged as a race-based hate crime. 

Now more than ever, we must strengthen our human bonds, joining with our neighbors to reject hatred and white supremacist ideology.  The Commission on Human Rights calls on all communities of good conscience to rise together, United Against Hate.

To learn more about hate crime, view our recent webinar: Hate Crime: What it Is and Is Not: A Panel Discussion

**Current media reporting has given the impression that this was a person from the Chinese mainland rather than Taiwan, thereby framing the tragic incident as pitting two Chinese-American communities against each other.  Information from the affected community has clarified that the shooter was, like his victims, Taiwanese, and that while the crime may have been politically motivated by ideological differences regarding the status of Taiwan (although additional information about the person is still emerging), it has been an isolated incident and does not represent a pattern of violence  among Chinese-Americans.

Read past statements from the Human Rights Commission

Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights

Police Reform and Modernization Collaborative


100 Cups of Coffee

Commission Members

Commission on Human Rights Annual Reports

Apply to Become a Commission Member


Links to organizations and news articles

Additional Human Rights Resources

We are one people and one New York. We will not tolerate hate crimes.

Find out "what is a hate crime" and what you can do!

To learn more about protections under NYS Human Rights Law, as well as filing a complaint, go to the NYS Division of Human Rights where you will find brochures, videos, complaint forms and other important information.

Eleanor Roosevelt became the first chair of the United Nations Human Rights Commission and led a two year process that resulted in the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10, 1948.  Each year on December 10, we commemorate International Human Rights Day and the adoption of the UDHR.

The protection of fundamental human rights was a foundation stone in the establishment of the United States over 200 years ago.

Since then, a central goal of U.S. foreign policy has been the promotion of respect for human rights, as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United States understands that the existence of human rights helps secure the peace, deter aggression, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, strengthen democracies, and prevent humanitarian crises.