On human rights, the United States must be a beacon. America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values.More
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As defenders fight for their rights in the face of often brutal persecution, they often look to the United States for support. We help them secure that support. Working alongside defenders, we amplify their voices and seek policy changes to benefit their cause. And because defenders are their own best advocates, we connect them to U.S officials capable of influencing foreign policy.

Human trafficking has claimed an estimated 20 million-plus victims worldwide—with more than 800,000 victims enslaved each year. And yet, despite significant anti-trafficking efforts over the past decade, the number of modern-day slaves seems only to be growing. We are attacking the scourge of modern-day slavery by providing the U.S. government and other leaders with the tools they need to disrupt the criminals, networks, mafias and gangs that make more than $150 billion a year by exploiting other human beings.

The U.S. government detains some 400,000 immigrants every year. The overwhelmingly majority are housed in jail or jail-like facilities, and the system lacks due process safeguard to ensure that detention isn’t arbitrary. We press the U.S. government to embrace a more humane, non-penal model of detention, and to take advantage of cost-effective alternatives to detention.

If you are seeking asylum, go here.

Too often its diplomacy with Indonesia, the U.S. government sidelines human rights concerns in favor of counterterrorism. Some of the security forces that receive U.S funding have committed human rights abuses. The U.S. government should use its leverage to end impunity for security forces. It should also press Indonesia to repeal its discriminatory blasphemy law and to seek accountability in the case of assassinated human rights activist, Munir Said Thalib. Photo: AP.

Too often LGBT rights are regarded as a “gay issue” and sidelined as a result. LGBT rights are human rights, period, and we’re working to ensure that the U.S. government advances them abroad. We focus on protecting LGBT refugees, combating violent hate crime against LGBT people, and opposing bans on homosexuality and other discriminatory laws. Photo: AP.

American popular culture reaches into living rooms and theaters across the world. We challenge the entertainment industry to recognize this power and tackle human rights issues with the accuracy and complexity they demand. We created the Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment to honor creators who meet this challenge. 

Military commissions at Gitmo, now in their third incarnation, are a failed experiment. Structurally shoddy and constitutionally dubious, they have produced few convictions while undermining the rule of law. Federal trials, by contrast, have produced more than 400 convictions of terrorists since 9-11, denied Al Qaeda members the warriors’ martyrdom they seek, and set a standard of justice before the world. Photo: AP.

Our Asylum Representation Program, which recruits and trains lawyers to represent refugees on a pro bono basis, is one of the largest and most successful programs of its kind in the country. Its impact could hardly be more profound: liberty instead of oppression, and sometimes life instead of death, for thousands of people. And beginning with the Refugee Act of 1980, which we helped draft, we’ve been at the forefront of all major reforms to the asylum system. Photo: AP.

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