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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Strategic Goal 7: Democracy and Human Rights

FY 2006 Performance and Accountability Highlights
Bureau of Resource Management
November 2006



Advance the Growth of Democracy and Good Governance, Including Civil Society,
the Rule of Law, Respect for Human Rights, and Religious Freedom


I. Public Benefit

Photo showing Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran greeting Under Secretary Paula Dobriansky at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs before the opening session of the Global Issues Forum, February 2006.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran greets Under Secretary Paula Dobriansky at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs before the opening session of the Global Issues Forum, February 2006. AP/Wide World

Protecting human rights and building democracy are cornerstones of a U.S. foreign policy focused on combating terrorism, championing human dignity and supporting nations that respect human rights and govern by the rule of law. Together with our partners in the international community, including human rights advocates and non-governmental organizations, the U.S. seeks opportunities to end tyranny and enhance homeland security through strategies, policies and programs that promote democracy and human rights.

In order for democratization to be successful and sustainable, the process must be driven by the people. While the U.S. plays a leading role to promote democracy and human rights, the Department and USAID take a holistic approach to democracy promotion, engaging both governments and civil society to ensure that democratic reforms reflect a representative political process. This philosophy underscores the goal of transformational diplomacy, which is to promote democracy by helping foreign citizens better their own lives and build their own futures.


II. Performance Summary

The table below summarizes the performance ratings for Department of State and USAID results for the Democracy and Human Rights strategic goal.

Strategic Goal Results Achieved for FY 2006
  Significantly Below Target Below Target On Target Above Target Significantly Above Target Totals
Number of Results 0 2 7 0 0 9
Percent of Total 0% 22% 78% 0% 0% 100%


III. Resources Invested


Human Resources
(Direct Funded Positions)
Performance Goal FY 2005 FY 2006
Democratic Systems and Practices 531 537
Respect for Human Rights 299 302
Total 830 839
Budget Authority
(Dollars in Millions)
Performance Goal FY 2005 FY 2006
Democratic Systems and Practices $1,123 $1,352
Respect for Human Rights $377 $519
Total $1,500 $1,871


IV. Performance Analysis

Performance Trends. The Department and USAID have been able to demonstrate progress in developing democratic institutions, supporting free and fair elections, upholding religious freedom, and increasing women's participation in the economy and politics, particularly in Afghanistan and the countries of the Middle East.

Key Initiatives And Programs. The Department and USAID invested significant resources to promote democracy and human rights in FY 2006. For example, a new Human Rights and Democracy Fund was established with an appropriation of $94 million, of which $15 million was earmarked for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and $6.5 million was set aside for the advancement of democracy in Iran and Syria. Under a separate appropriation, an additional $74 million was earmarked to NED for democracy grants. Using Economic Support Funds, the Department invested $50 million for democracy, human rights and governance programs in Egypt; and $20 million for labor and environmental capacity building activities in support of the free trade agreement with the countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic. In FY 2006, USAID received $15 million for programs to improve women's leadership capacity in developing countries and $40 million to support the transition to democracy and long-term development of countries in crisis.


Labor Rights in China

Photo showing Chinese female construction workers applauding as they attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympics,  December 2005.In southern China, many migrant workers facing poor workplace conditions and unjust compensation are unaware of their basic labor rights. As part of its overall efforts to improve labor conditions in China, the Department of State has funded information booklets and training seminars so that workers can learn how to defend their rights. In one instance, two workers directly applied what they learned in the trainings to take action against wage and hour violations affecting thousands of their co-workers. They successfully used their knowledge of the law to negotiate better working conditions with their employer, who was illegally allowing only one day off per month. The company agreed to the legal four days off per month and reduced work shifts from nine to eight hours, adjustments that were made without a reduction in pay.

Chinese female construction workers applaud as they attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympics, December 2005. AP/Wide World


V. FY 2006 Performance Results


INDICATOR: Progress Toward Constitutional Democracy in Afghanistan
Department of State seal Outcome
JUSTIFICATION: Achieving progress towards meeting political objectives laid out in the Afghanistan Compact will effectively establish democratic rule in Afghanistan.
  • Parliament produces constructive legislation, approves responsible budgets, and oversees appropriate government operations, such as combating corruption and narcotics activity.
  • Civil liberties provisions remain intact and receive strong support from legal and executive institutions.
  • Citizens throughout the country have access to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission for resolution of human rights complaints. Human rights education becomes part of primary school education curriculum.
  • Courts in Kabul begin to hold trials in criminal cases.
  • Women are active political participants and hold public positions in Kabul and the central, regional and provincial government levels.
  • Parliament adopted a law on the duties and responsibilities of the Provincial Councils; adopted the budget; and confirmed the President's cabinet and the members of the Supreme Court.
  • Provisions on civil liberties are intact and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Council remains active. Religious freedom became an issue due to an apostasy case that was eventually dismissed. Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission continues to expand to the provinces and is more accessible and active. In most schools human rights are a primary part of the curriculum, but the extent to which this is true varies by class.
  • There are 68 female members in the National Assembly, one female cabinet member and one female provincial governor. Approximately 35% students attending school are female. Approximately 60% of primary age girls are in school. For the lower secondary level (grades 7-9) it is about 9% and for the upper secondary level (10-12) approximately 3% of girls attend school.
Rating On Target
A democratically elected president and government are essential to ensuring Afghanistan's progress toward democracy.


A Look to History: Democracy and Human Rights

Photo showing two young boys working as drivers in a West Virginia underground coal mine in 1908.In 1919, parties to the Paris Peace Conference established the International Labor Organization (ILO), and in 1946, it became part of the United Nations. Although the United States was an original ILO member, and Samuel Gompers of the American Federation of Labor its first chairman, the United States withdrew from the ILO in 1978 under protest that the organization's agenda focused too heavily on labor issues pertaining to the Arab-Israeli conflict and not on labor issues in communist countries. The United States rejoined in 1980.

Two young boys work as drivers in a West Virginia underground coal mine in 1908.AP/Wide World


INDICATOR: Status of Democracy in the Near East
Department of State seal Outcome
JUSTIFICATION: Successful elections (held as scheduled and free and fair) indicate fundamental movement toward democratic, representative government. A free and independent media is an imperative for democratic, transparent governance. It provides essential information to the people, both informing their voting decisions and acting as a means for the people to express dissent between elections.
  • Municipal elections in Yemen are held as scheduled and are free and fair.
  • Elections in Bahrain held as scheduled and are free and fair.
  • Media Freedom: Two additional Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) countries move into the "Partly Free" category and no other states lower their rankings.
  • Free, fair and competitive elections took place in Yemen (municipal and Presidential); Egypt (Parliamentary); Qatar (legislative); Bahrain (municipal council).
  • No countries saw a decline in their Media Freedom scores. No countries moved from "Not Free" to "Partly Free".
  • In Iraq, a draft permanent Constitution was successfully adopted in October 2005. Political parties formed coalitions, registered and campaigned for December 2005 elections.
Rating On Target
Holding free, fair, competitive elections and adopting a Constitution are first steps in achieving participatory democracy and open opportunities for increased democracy programming including political party and civil society strengthening.


INDICATOR: Status of Religious Freedom
Department of State seal Outcome
JUSTIFICATION: Congress established the broad policy goals and reporting requirements in the International Religious Freedom Act. The performance indicators chosen follow from the mandates of the law. Meetings, agreements and documented movement by countries toward greater religious freedom are concrete examples of progress toward International Religious Freedom goals.
  • Undertake at least two additional bilateral or regional International Religious Freedom initiatives, laying the groundwork for significant policy changes in those countries or regions.
  • Establish a working coalition of allies focused on problem countries, working bilaterally and multilaterally to improve or establish religious freedom laws, practices and accountability in problem countries.
  • Revise and streamline the format of the Annual Country Reports and the International Religious Freedom Report, maintaining high standards and making the reports more user friendly.
  • Focused intensive diplomatic efforts on consolidating religious freedom improvements in Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. As a result, Saudi Arabia confirmed policies to revise school textbooks to eliminate intolerant language, to protect the right to private worship and to import religious materials for private use, and to enforce controls over the actions of the religious police. Vietnam released all remaining religious prisoners, speeded registration of churches, and took action against officials who violated the right to worship.
  • Worked with international partners to successfully press for countries not to establish anti-conversion laws (e.g., India and Sri Lanka) and to release religious prisoners (e.g., Saudi Arabia, China, and Indonesia).
  • Began revising and streamlining the format of the International Religious Freedom Report.
Rating On Target
Advanced Department's objectives of promoting religious freedom and human rights, strengthening civil society.


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