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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Threats to Civil Society and Human Rights Defenders Worldwide

Date: 
Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 1:00pm
Location: 
2237 Rayburn House Office Building

Announcement

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on threats and restrictions faced by civil society and human rights defenders worldwide.

A dynamic and autonomous civil society – including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), activists, journalists, and human rights defenders – plays an important role in strengthening democracies and ensuring that human rights are protected. Recently enacted laws and pending legislation in some countries are severely limiting the ability of NGOs to operate freely, independently and effectively. On a more individual level, human rights defenders and their families are sometimes harassed, imprisoned, tortured, and even killed because of their work.

In addition to assessing these issues from a global perspective, this hearing will examine the impact of restrictive civil society legislation on human rights work in Ethiopia as well as the threats against human rights defenders and activists in Colombia.

If you have any questions, please contact the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission at 202-225-3599 or tlhrc@mail.house.gov.

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Frank R. Wolf, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC

Witnesses

Panel I

  • Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Michael H. Posner, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State
    Written testimony
  • Tomicah Tillemann, Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies, U.S. Department of State
    Written testimony

Panel II

  • Brian Dooley, Director, Human Rights Defenders Program, Human Rights First
    Written testimony
  • Adotei Akwei, Managing Director of Government Relations, Amnesty International
    Written testimony
  • Lisa Haugaard, Executive Director, Latin America Working Group
    Written testimony

Statement from Lisa Davis, 

Transcript

Transcript

Video

THREATS TO CIVIL SOCIETY AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS WORLDWIDE PART I

THREATS TO CIVIL SOCIETY AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS WORLDWIDE PART II

112th Congress