Welcome letter from 2012 Annual Report
After his courageous escape from house arrest in April 2012, Chen Guangcheng was asked why he’d sought protection at the American embassy. His answer? Because “the United States holds itself up as embodying democracy and human rights.”
He was challenging the United States to live up to its ideals. And that’s precisely what we do at Human Rights First.
As an American organization, we believe we have a special responsibility to ensure that our country respects human rights. This sets us apart. We’re the only organization whose primary mission is to foster American leadership on human rights.
We are in this not just to make a point, but to advance concrete, real-world changes that improve people’s lives.
Our aim is to create conditions conducive to progress and to persuade public officials and other leaders to act. To that end, we form effective and unconventional coalitions, advance reasoned arguments grounded in policy expertise, and influence the public debate.
This report highlights some of our victories in 2012. Whether we were spearheading the successful effort to break U.S. ties to the Syrian regime’s top weapons supplier, leading the charge for Senate sign-off on a landmark torture report, or securing relief for refugees mislabeled as “terrorists,” we narrowed the gap between American ideals and American reality.
Thank you so much for joining with us to ensure that the United States respects human rights and remains a beacon of hope for the world.
President and CEO
Human Rights First