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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

DCCHR Statement on Hate Based Shootings in Buffalo, Dallas, and Laguna Woods Targeting African-American and Asian-American Communities

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, with more injured, in these racist and hate filled attacks. Occurring within days of one another these hate crimes appear to have specifically targeted people based upon the color of their skin. In Dallas, Texas, three Korean American businesses were targeted. In Laguna Woods, California, the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church was 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.

We mourn for 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 racist incidents and crimes locally 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 6 ft. apart. Our African-American community in Dutchess County has been targeted with slurs on public property; Black Lives Matters 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

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.