U.S. Responds to Swaziland's Lack of Protection for Human Rights | Freedom House

U.S. Responds to Swaziland's Lack of Protection for Human Rights

Washington

In response to today’s decision by the U.S. Trade Representative to withdraw Swaziland’s eligibility under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Freedom House released the following statement:

“The decision to revoke Swaziland’s AGOA eligibility sends a strong message to a government that has refused to show greater respect for human rights," said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs at Freedom House. " More important, it sets the precedent for the United States not to reward governments that restrict the rights of their citizens through undemocratic laws and repressive practices. As the U.S. Congress begins debate over the renewal of AGOA in the coming year, it should include stronger requirements for democratic governance and respect for human rights to ensure that Africa’s authoritarian countries do not benefit from access to American markets.”

The U.S. Trade Representative noted its decision was made following the Government of Swaziland’s refusal to increase protection of internationally recognized workers’ rights and freedom of association. Withdrawing AGOA benefits could affect Swaziland's s textile industry, which employs thousands of workers.

Swaziland is rated as Not Free in Freedom in the World 2014 and Freedom of the Press 2014.

Learn more:
Freedom House Joins Archbishop Desmond Tutu, RFK Center, in Calling for End to Crackdown on Free Expression in Swaziland
Swazi Authorities Should Drop Political Charges
Freedom in the World 2013: Swaziland
Freedom of the Press 2013: Swaziland
Blog: Freedom at Issue 

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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.

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