Welcome letter from 2013 Annual Report
Keeping the United States on the Right Side of History.
In 2013, the world lost a human rights titan. While Nelson Mandela’s inspiring story is primarily about the transformation of South Africa, his passing prompted an examination of how the United States responded to Apartheid. Poorly, at first. For decades the United States backed the racist government in Pretoria. But then, in 1986, a bipartisan majority in Congress voted to impose sanctions, contributing to the regime’s ultimate demise. Republican Senators Nancy Kassebaum and Richard Lugar led their party’s break with the Reagan White House. “We really need to be on the right side of history,” said Lugar. As Senator Ted Kennedy noted, the vote “expressed the best ideals of the American people. The message to countries all over the world is, the United States will lead, and we’re proud to lead.”
At Human Rights First, we challenge the United States to live up to its ideals, because American leadership matters. It matters to activists, who count on our country for support. And it matters to autocrats and dictators, who are exposed and weakened when the United States champions human rights.
In 2013, we sought to harness American influence to advance core freedoms. We pressed the U.S. government to support those fighting for their rights, such as LGBT activists in Russia and democracy advocates in Bahrain. We called for aggressive American action to resolve conflicts and relieve suffering in Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. And because our country cannot lead globally unless it leads by example, we fought to ensure that U.S. policy respects the rights of refugees and pursues counterterrorism strategies that uphold the rule of law.
Our goal is not simply to make a statement; it’s to make change.
This report spotlights some of our victories. None of them would have been possible without your support. Thank you for joining with us as we work to make the United States a beacon of hope for the world.
President and CEO
Human Rights First
2012 Form 990»
2011 Form 990»
2010 Form 990»
2009 Form 990»
2008 Form 990»
2008 Financial Report»
2007 Form 990»
Human Rights First is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3), international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C. To maintain our independence, we accept no government funding.
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