We call on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the U.S. Senate to move forward to pass the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) and to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in this Congress. These tools will give the United States greater clout to urge other countries to take all necessary steps to combat discrimination and violence against women and girls.
The amnesty for Bialiatski over the weekend is a positive first step in mending the damage done by the Belarusian government by wrongly imprisoning this renowned human rights defender for spurious reasons.
Following last week's decision by Freedom House President David J. Kramer to step down this fall after nearly four years in his leadership position, Freedom House Chairman of the Board, Kenneth I. Juster announced the search for the next President of the organization.
When the Obama administration sent its budget request to Congress this year, it featured a remarkable omission. The request for 2015 does not include language that has appeared for nearly 10 years, stating that U.S. democracy assistance will not be bound by the approval of foreign governments. This lapse threatens the interests—and potentially the lives—of people working to promote political freedom around the world.