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  • President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast

    President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast

    I pray that our leaders will always act with humility and generosity. I pray that my failings are forgiven. I pray that we will uphold our obligation to be good stewards of God’s creation -- this beautiful planet. I pray that we will see every single child as our own, each worthy of our love and of our compassion. And I pray we answer Scripture’s call to lift up the vulnerable, and to stand up for justice, and ensure that every human being lives in dignity.

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  • Assistant Secretary Tom Malinowski speaking at Stanford University Handa Center on Human Rights and International Justice

    Handa Center Annual Public Lecture on Human Rights

    And here’s the interesting thing: in all those years when we were working on those issues in those countries, there was not one moment where there was even a scintilla of evidence that what we were doing was working. Only after the change happened, when we looked back, we realized actually we had contributed to the change that happened. Because authoritarian governments are never going to say to you, “you know that policy you put in place is beginning to have an effect on us. We’re really thinking about this.” They don’t. And even when you get to that point of a democratic transition that we’ve gotten to in a number of hopeful places around the world, that the full transition to stable democracy, true respect for the rule of law, political scientists tell us that that takes, in the successful cases, on average around 20 years.

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Top Stories

Tackling Corruption: Empowering Citizens To Hold Their Governments Accountable
Feb 1, 2016 | Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, William R. Brownfield

Left unaddressed, corruption ruins lives, and it ruins countries. This is why the United States is pressing forward on reforms in places like Ukraine, Guatemala, and Kenya to fight corruption, and it is why we are working to expand civil society's role to empower citizens to hold their governments accountable. We are also joining with G7 and G20 partners to highlight our collective fight against corruption this year. ...Read More
Press Release
Free the Press Logo Design Contest
Feb 1, 2016 | Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

Are you a budding graphic designer or an established artist who would like to highlight the importance of a free and independent media? If so, the U.S. State Department is looking for a new logo to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the annual ‘Free the Press’ campaign. The winning logo will be used during this year’s ‘Free the Press’ campaign to underscore ongoing threats to ...Read More

Press Release
Annual Report on the Implementation of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act
Feb 1, 2016 | State Department Spokesperson, John Kirby

The Act provides for the designation of persons determined to have been involved in the criminal conspiracy uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who suffered abuse and died in a Moscow prison on November 16, 2009, after a year in pre-trial detention following his revelation of a large tax fraud scheme perpetrated by Russian officials. The Act further provides for the designation of individuals determined to be responsible for Magnitsky’s detention, abuse, and death, those who profited from Magnitsky’s detention, abuse and death, and those who helped cover up the legal liability for it... ...Read More
Getting the Endgame Right in Colombia
Jan 30, 2016 | Secretary of State John Kerry

The key to Plan Colombia’s success was its comprehensive vision of how security is established and maintained. Law and order is only part of the equation. With support from the United States, Colombians moved ahead on multiple fronts to improve governance, reform the judiciary, enhance opportunities for Afro-Colombian and indigenous groups, provide support for the victims of conflict, and extend protections to journalists and civil society. Just as important, the government came to terms with the fact that human rights abuses were committed not solely by rebel groups, but also by its own forces — and that those abuses, too, must be stopped. ...Read More
Video Statement on Syria Negotiations
Jan 31, 2016 | Secretary of State John Kerry

So the opportunity now is real and present to achieve a future that ensures Syria’s unity, independence, territorial integrity, and non-sectarian character; to keep state institutions intact; and to protect the rights of all Syrians, regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination. ...Read More
Amplifying the Survivors’ Voice: Sparking Dialogue through National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Jan 29, 2016 | Ambassador–at-Large in the U.S. Department of States' Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Susan Coppedge

The State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report has long documented the use of forced criminality and the effect it has on those victimized. In fact, every country narrative addresses whether governments ensure that trafficking victims are not punished for crimes they committed as a direct result of being trafficked, and instead are properly identified as victims of human trafficking. While a government institution will never be able to reverse the trauma of human trafficking, governments can aid individuals’ recovery by providing needed support to each victim on the journey toward becoming a survivor. An understanding of the use of forced criminality is also critical to recognizing and prosecuting the true crime that has taken place, and ensuring adequate care and support to survivors. ...Read More


  • Telling the stories of 20 women who are unjustly detained

Fact Sheet - new

  • Global Labor Programs Fact Sheet

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