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    Remarks by President Obama to the People of Africa

    Dignity -- that basic idea that by virtue of our common humanity, no matter where we come from, or what we look like, we are all born equal, touched by the grace of God. (Applause.) Every person has worth. Every person matters. Every person deserves to be treated with decency and respect. Throughout much of history, mankind did not see this. Dignity was seen as a virtue reserved to those of rank and privilege, kings and elders. It took a revolution of the spirit, over many centuries, to open our eyes to the dignity of every person. And around the world, generations have struggled to put this idea into practice in laws and in institutions.

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    Secretary Kerry's Remarks at the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report Ceremony

    This report is the product of really an entire year-long effort. These folks will leave here today and they begin on next year’s report. And it is a constant process of following up with the employees at our diplomatic posts around the world, gathering facts, information, and helping to lay it out. And this report is important because it really is one of the best means that we have as individuals to speak up for adults and children who lack any effective platform whatsoever through which they are able to speak for themselves. Because of its credibility, this report is also a source of validation and inspiration to activists on every single continent who are striving to end this scourge of modern slavery.

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    Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall on the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report

    This year’s report is the culmination of over a year of tireless work by our dedicated staff in Washington and in embassies around the world; engaging governments and civil society to collect data; to navigate the local laws, politics, and cultures to develop best practices; and to objectively assess each government’s efforts to prevent trafficking in persons. The report assesses the response of 188 countries and territories, including the United States, to the global crime of modern slavery, and it elevates the issue as a priority of U.S. foreign policy and a topic for the international community to address.

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  • ADA 25

    25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

    On July 26, 1990, the United States committed itself to eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities through the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For the past 25 years, the ADA has helped to remove barriers and ensure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, integration, and economic self-sufficiency for all persons with disabilities. Throughout the month of July, embassies and consulates around the world will celebrate this milestone and honor this significant civil rights victory.

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Top Stories

Press Release
Designation under Russia's "Undesirables" Law of the National Endowment for Democracy
Jul 28, 2015 | State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Mark Toner


We are deeply troubled by Russia’s formal designation of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as a so-called "undesirable" organization. This designation only heightens our concern that the so-called “undesirables” law will further restrict the work of civil society in Russia. This action is a further example of the Russian government’s growing crackdown on independent voices and another intentional step to isolate the Russian people from the world. ...Read More
Press Release
Special Envoy Perriello on Burundi's Recent Election
Jul 28, 2015 | Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Thomas Perriello


I have just conducted a three-day visit here in Burundi, meeting with the full range of stakeholders from government, military, the opposition and civil society. The U.S. government continues to have grave concerns about the precarious situation in Burundi and the conditions for democracy following elections which are widely viewed as neither free, fair, nor credible. ...Read More
Toast Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia at State Dinner
Jul 27, 2015 | President Barack Obama


When you see our ancestor, 3.5 million years old, we are reminded that Ethiopians, Americans, all the people of the world are part of the same human family, the same chain. (Applause.) And as one of the professors who was describing the artifacts correctly pointed out, so much of the hardship and conflict and sadness and violence that occurs around the world is because we forget that fact. We look at superficial differences as opposed to seeing the fundamental connection that we all share. ...Read More
Government of the Republic of Kenya—Government of the United States of America Joint Commitment to Promote Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Efforts in Kenya
Jul 27, 2015 | The White House

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The two Governments reaffirm their shared objectives to improve governance by increasing transparency and accountability in Government, and commit to work together to combat corruption in Kenya. The two Governments plan to meet quarterly to review progress in implementing these commitments. ...Read More
Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia in Joint Press Conference
Jul 27, 2015 | President Barack Obama


To the people of Ethiopia, thank you for the warmth and enthusiasm of your welcome and the spirit of friendship that you’ve shown me since I’ve been in Addis. I am proud to be the first U.S. President to visit Ethiopia, and, tomorrow, the first U.S. President to address the African Union. So my visit reflects the importance the United States places on our relationship with Ethiopia and all the nations and peoples of Africa. ...Read More
Fact Sheet
FACT SHEET: U.S. Support for Peace, Security, and Countering Violent Extremism in Africa
Jul 27, 2015 | The White House


The United States is committed to working with our African partners to address peace and security challenges on the continent and across the globe. While expanding our cooperation with governments in Africa to combat the growing terrorist threat across the continent and protect African communities, we are engaging in holistic efforts to help governments and communities in Africa combat violent extremism. ...Read More

2014 Human Rights Report

  • Human Rights Report

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