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  • Secretary Kerry Welcomes Randy Berry, the First-Ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons

    Secretary Kerry Welcomes Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons Randy Berry

    So here today we’re underscoring a very important message. The United States of America remains unwavering in our commitment to advance the human rights of all human beings, and that includes LGBT persons prominently, appropriately, equal to everybody else here at home and around the world.

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  • Secretary Kerry at the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council

    Secretary Kerry at the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council

    President Obama and I support the HRC for a simple reason: We believe in its mission and its possibilities. We know that at best this council can be a valuable means for reminding every nation of its commitments and obligations and holding countries accountable when they fail to meet international standards. It can help countries to respond successfully to respond to domestic human rights challenges, as we’ve seen firsthand in Cote d’Ivoire and elsewhere, and advance global norms like LGBT rights. It provides a means for self-evaluation on the part of individual nations, including through the universal periodic review process. And we have seen this type of self-examination and engagement with the international community actually produce real process on the ground.

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  • Assistant Secretary Malinowski at MERI talking about democracy and inclusion

    Seizing the Post-ISIL Opportunity for Democracy and Inclusion

    This is a time when people are threatened, so it's a time for patriotism. It's a time for coming together, it's not necessarily a time for open and critical debate about what the government is doing. But I would ask you to consider that this is perhaps particularly the time when one needs those institutions of openness and democracy and tolerance of different opinions to be strong.

    We don't need limits on free expression to fight Daeesh; that should be clear. On the contrary, in every part of the world, in every part of Iraq, it is precisely civil society, it is people who challenge authority and dogmatic ways of thinking, people who work together across lines of religion and party and ethnicity to solve problems, who are in the best defense against extremism.

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Top Stories

Press Conference
Secretary Kerry at a Press Availability
Mar 2, 2015 | Secretary of State John Kerry

We’ve also worked hard to try to create new mechanisms that explore and address serious human rights infringements on the freedom of assembly, expression, and religion, and the rights of LGBT people. And as many of you know, just the other day, I had the privilege of making the appointment for Randy Berry as the first special envoy for global LGBT rights for the State Department. ...Read More
Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons
Feb 23, 2015 | Secretary of State John Kerry

I could not be more proud to announce Randy Berry as the first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons...Too often, in too many countries, LGBT persons are threatened, jailed, and prosecuted because of who they are or who they love. Too many governments have proposed or enacted laws that aim to curb freedom of expression, association, religion, and peaceful protest. More than 75 countries still criminalize consensual same-sex activity. ...Read More
Press Release
Special Representative for International Labor Affairs
Feb 23, 2015 | State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki

Ms. Fox will lead the Department’s effort to promote workers’ rights and improve economic security and working conditions for workers abroad; liaise with the global labor movement, U.S. and multinational companies, and other stakeholders on these issues; and support and strengthen the labor diplomacy function at our embassies worldwide. She will play a critical role in ensuring American foreign policy and programs advance internationally recognized labor rights and improved living standards across the globe. ...Read More
Secretary Kerry at Swearing-in ceremony for Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom David Saperstein
Feb 20, 2015 | Secretary of State John Kerry

Religious liberty implies an attitude towards others which extends beyond mere tolerance. Bob Seiple, who was the ambassador-at-large in the Clinton Administration and who is here, said that if we understand our own faiths deeply enough, we will feel called to learn enough about the faiths of others not simply to tolerate them but also to respect them and their beliefs. And respect, in turn, demands legal equality. It demands that the practitioners of a majority faith cannot force others to be like them or to be treated as second-class citizens. ...Read More
Secretary Kerry Outlining an Action Agenda to Counter Violent Extremism
Feb 19, 2015 | Secretary of State John Kerry

So our goal today is to build on the discussions of the last two days by looking at ways both to address the most alarming threats that we face, but also to get practical, to strengthen the role of civil society – in particular women, youth, and victims – and to ensure that civil society has the space to be able to operate. We need to identify and amplify credible voices, expanding religious and other education that promotes tolerance and peace and respect for all religions; we need to address the social, economic, and political marginalization that is part of this challenge. ...Read More

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