The month of December is National Human Rights Month. The annual designation encourages people across the globe to come together and support equality, justice, and the dignity of all humans.

December 10, 2023, marks the 75th anniversary of one of the world's most groundbreaking global pledges: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This Declaration, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, enshrines the basic rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being - regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Human Rights in Boulder

Our beloved city is not exempt from Human Rights violations. Fortunately, in 1972, Boulder City Council enacted the Human Rights Ordinance to create prompt, local protection and for classes not protected at the state or federal levels, such as sexual orientation, gender variance and genetic characteristics.

The purpose of the Human Rights Ordinance is to protect against discrimination in Boulder and assist people who experienced discriminated in three areas:

  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Public accommodation in places such as stores, restaurants, health clubs and movie theaters

Within these areas, the ordinance prohibits discrimination based on ancestry, color, creed, gender variance, genetic characteristics, immigration status, marital status, mental disability, national origin, physical disability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation and source of income. In housing, it also prohibits discrimination based on custody of a minor child, parenthood and pregnancy. In employment, it also prohibits discrimination based on age, specifically 40 and older.

If you or someone you know has been the target of discrimination within city limits, you can file a claim through the City of Boulder’s Human Rights Ordinance. These services are available in any language. Learn more on the city’s website.

Bias Motivated Crimes

Since 1968, federal law makes it a crime to use, or threaten to use, force to willfully interfere with any person because of race, color, religion, or national origin. The law also protects a person that is participating in a federally protected activity, such as public education, employment, jury service, travel, or the enjoyment of public accommodations, or helping another person to do so.

As part of the City of Boulder’s efforts to ensure that Boulder is a welcoming and inclusive community, the city updated the Boulder Revised Code language pertaining to bias motivated crime sentence enhancements.

The amendments to the Boulder Revised Code include the expansion of offenses that are subject to an enhanced sentence, adding offenses related to religious expression into the category of bias motivated crimes, adding clarifying language to authorize an enhanced sentence even if the offender had mixed motives when the crime was committed, and cross-referencing the definitions of gender, gender identity and gender expression with Boulder’s Human Rights Ordinance.

Learn more and find information about filing a report on the city’s website.

Bias and Hate Hotline: 303-441-1595

The Boulder District Attorney’s Office has created a hotline designed for members of our community to report hate or bias-motivated crimes.

This hotline is for non-emergencies only. Call 911 for crimes in progress.

Definition of a Bias-Motivated Crime: A person commits a bias-motivated crime if, with the intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation, he or she:

  1. Knowingly causes bodily injury to another person; or
  2. By words or conduct, knowingly places another person in fear of imminent lawless action directed at that person or that person’s property and such words or conduct are likely to produce bodily injury to that person or damage to that person’s property; or
  3. Knowingly causes damage to or destruction of the property of another person.

View the DA’s flyer on the county’s website.

Community Resources

Immigrants and refugees can sometimes face unique forms of discrimination or require specific assistance and resources. The Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs (DOIRA) partners with nonprofits, community-based organizations, residents, and government agencies to develop and implement policies, practices and programs that influence the various paths of immigrant integration.

Head over to the DOIRA website to find additional resources.