U.S. Support for Human Rights Defenders
BUREAU OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND LABOR
NOVEMBER 29, 2021
Protecting and supporting human rights defenders is a key priority of U.S. foreign policy. Because human rights defenders seek to hold their governments accountable to protect universally recognized human rights, defenders are often harassed, detained, interrogated, imprisoned, tortured, and even killed for doing their work. The Department’s objective is to enable human rights defenders to promote and defend human rights without hindrance or undue restriction and free from fear of retribution against them or their families. The work of these brave individuals and groups is an integral part of a vibrant civil society, and our investment in and support of them is likewise an investment in and support of the rule of law and democracy.
Every day, around the world, many in civil society turn to us for assistance in emergency situations and to help them achieve longer-term goals that will make their countries more just and democratic. (FULL FACT SHEET)
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS GUIDANCE (PDF, 6.9MB)