10 Critical Human Rights Challenges for Next U.S. President

Washington

- Broad group of human rights leaders calls for renewed U.S. leadership on human rights -

A policy paper released today by a coalition of 22 prominent human rights organizations and individuals identifies 10 of the most significant human rights challenges facing the next American president and strongly urges that these issues be given top priority in the next administration.

Among the issues highlighted in the paper are U.S. leadership in atrocity and genocide prevention; U.S. engagement in international institutions; responding to crackdowns on civil society; respecting the rights of refugees/migrants/immigrants; reviewing U.S. relationships with human rights abusing countries; and ensuring that U.S. corporations avoid contributing to human rights violations. Those signing the recommendations have shared them with both the Romney and Obama campaigns and plan to champion the policies during the next administration.

“U.S. leadership is critical to address human rights issues effectively, whether in dealing with countries that commit serious abuses or in setting a good example at home,” said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president at Freedom House. “By vigorously protecting human rights, the United States advances both its core values and its strategic interests.”

The paper gives specific recommendations on each of the 10 challenges and is intended to guide the development of policies on international human rights. It is sponsored by Freedom House and Connect US, and endorsed by 20 other organizations and individuals.

“No matter who wins on November 6, the next president will face foreign policy challenges that at their core are about the human rights of individuals,” said Human Rights First President and CEO, Elisa Massimino. “The United States has a strong bipartisan tradition of working with other nations and the private sector to advance human rights. After a hard-fought campaign, the next administration should take up this mantle.”

The signing organizations and individuals are: American Civil Liberties Union; Amnesty International USA; Better World Campaign; Center for Justice and Accountability; Center for Victims of Torture; The Connect US Fund; The Enough Project; Freedom House; Futures Without Violence; Global Rights; Global Solutions; Global Witness; Chris Hennemeyer, International Development Consultant; Human Rights First; Human Rights Watch; Ambassador Mark P. Lagon, Georgetown University; Physicians for Human Rights; Project on Middle East Democracy; Resolve; Eric Sapp, American Values Network; Ted Piccone, Brookings Institution; United to End Genocide;  and Jennifer Windsor, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights. 

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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhouse). Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our newsletter.