James Dold is the Founder & CEO of Human Rights for Kids (HRFK), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the human rights of children in the United States. HRFK’s policy advocacy has led to the passage of 9 new laws across the country. Their legal advocacy has helped secure rulings that have eliminated mandatory minimum sentences for youth and protected children facing life sentences. James survived human rights abuses as a child which inspired his life’s work as a human rights lawyer for children. James graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland School of Law and is a lawyer in Maryland. He was a 2016 Halle Scholar with the Aspen Institute, a 2021 Echoing Green Finalist, and a 2021 Paul H. Chapman Award Winner.
To create a human rights framework for children in the criminal justice system, Human Rights for Kids is leading a coalition of juvenile and criminal justice reform organizations in a national public education campaign focused on the need for comprehensive criminal justice reform policies for children consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at the state and federal level. During the course of the Fellowship, Human Rights for Kids aims to publish two national reports, including the first ever national estimate of the number of people currently incarcerated for crimes they committed as children, and launch HRFK’s Child Conscious Courts Program – a collaborative partnership with national law firms to coordinate the filing of amicus briefs in criminal cases to advance human rights protections for children.