“In democracies, respecting rights isn’t a choice leaders make day-by-day, it is the reason they govern.”
— Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
The Obama Administration is committed to promoting, supporting and defending human rights and democracy worldwide. Human rights are not only fundamental to American society, but are the birthright of all the world’s people. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights calls for governments and societies to guard their citizens’ basic freedoms and to offer them the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential.
Human rights, democracy, and development are interwoven and are key State Department priorities. Upholding democracy and liberty are part of the daily work of many Department Bureaus, but especially of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL).
Acting to Advance Human Rights
The Administration’s Approach to Human Rights
Accountability – A commitment to human rights starts with universal standards and with holding everyone accountable to those standards, including ourselves.
Principled Pragmatism – Promoting human rights requires pragmatism and agility, not compromising on principles, but doing what is most likely to bring practical results.
Partnering at All Levels – The U.S. supports change driven by citizens and their communities and encourages and provides support for local grassroots human rights leaders. We also partner with multilateral and regional institutions to secure human rights.
A Wide Focus – Positive change must be reinforced and strengthened over time. Where human lives hang in the balance, the U.S. will do all it can to tilt situations toward a future of hope and dignity.
U. S. Department of State • Bureau of Public Affairs www.state.gov