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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Protecting Religious Minorities in Syria & Iraq

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 3:00pm
Russell Senate Office Building, Room 485


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the Senate Human Rights Caucus for a joint briefing on protecting religious minorities in Iraq and Syria. 

Many actors involved in the armed conflict in Iraq and Syria continue to commit systematic human rights violations in the region, up to and including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.  ISIS in particular bears responsibility for committing gross human rights violations throughout Iraq and Syria targeting women, moderate Sunni Muslims, Shi’a Muslims, Yazidis, and Christians.  The U.S. government has an important role to play in supporting efforts to protect religious minorities in Iraq, Syria, and across the Middle East.  Speakers will discuss the atrocities committed against religious minorities in Syria and Iraq and policy options that would help protect religious minorities and prevent future violations.

Hosted by:

The Senate Human Rights Caucus
Co-Chairs Senator Chris Coons and Senator Mark Kirk
The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Co-Chairs Congressman Joseph R. Pitts and Congressman James P. McGovern



  • Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, Commissioner, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
  • Knox Thames, Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South/Central Asia, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, State Department
  • Cameron Hudson, Director, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


  • William Inboden, Associate Scholar, Religious Freedom Project, Georgetown Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs
114th Congress