Why Security and Human Rights?
A principal goal of United States security sector assistance is to promote the transparent and accountable oversight of security forces, rule of law, and respect for human rights. Rights-respecting civilian and military security forces that protect human rights and are held accountable for human rights violations are essential to functioning democracies, successful conflict prevention, and peacebuilding.
Implementing the Leahy law, the U.S. government vets its assistance to foreign security forces to ensure that recipients have not committed a gross violation of human rights, and allows for engagement with governments to promote accountability for past abuses while seeking to prevent future ones.
Leahy vetting is a process through which the U.S. government vets foreign security forces nominated to receive assistance with funds appropriated in the Foreign Assistance Act, Arms Export and Control Act, or the National Defense Authorization Act to ensure they have not committed a gross violation of human rights. When the vetting process uncovers credible information that an individual or unit has committed a gross violation of human rights, U.S. assistance is withheld. This obligation to vet foreign security forces can be found in section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA) and Section 362 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code.
The Department of Defense offers a so individuals can submit information to the relevant U.S. Department of Defense Combatant Commands about civilian casualties that may have resulted from U.S. military operations.