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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

Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights Statement on Israel and Gaza - January 30, 2024

The Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights grieves deeply for all killed, kidnapped, traumatized, and displaced in Israel and Gaza. We continue to hold hope for a lasting peace in the region.

DCCHR Statement on Attacks in Israel - October 16, 2023

The Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights wholly and unequivocally condemns the horrific terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel. We are overwhelmed with grief and outrage as we struggle to comprehend the brutal violence and catastrophic loss of civilian lives, including many children. As the numbers of dead and injured continue to rise, we remain deeply worried for the safety and well-being of all civilians in the region - Israeli, Palestinian, and beyond.

To those in our community with friends and family in Israel and Gaza, to our Jewish, Israeli-American, and Palestinian-American neighbors: with open hearts, we mourn and stand in community with you

Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights Statement on Racially Motivated Murders in Jacksonville, Florida - August 29, 2023

As we commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's March on Washington and continue the work to honor his legacy, hate fueled by anti-Black racism took the lives of Angela Michelle Carr, Anolt Joseph Laguerre, Jr., and Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion, while shopping. The weapon used was marked with, ‘KKK,’ referencing the hate group responsible for terrorizing the Black community for decades. It was also marked with swastikas, a symbol synonymous with the death of millions of Jews and used in antisemitic ideology that is central to White supremacy. The Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights mourns for the victims, their families and communities. We call on all people of good conscience to join together against hate in their memory.

Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights Stands Against Rising Antisemitism - August 18, 2023

Since the Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights was reestablished, we have witnessed the alarming rise of antisemitism.  As the Commission stands with other groups targeted by hate & bias due to their identities, the Commission stands with the Jewish community.  

The Commission was asked by the Dutchess County Legislature to consider adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and the Commission has adopted it as follows:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Whether memes online, flyers posted in a community, swastikas drawn in public, threats against synagogues or physical attacks, the Commission denounces acts of antisemitism in all its forms.

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


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.