Hearings & Briefings

Threats to Civil Society and Human Rights Defenders Worldwide

Hearing Thursday, May 17, 2012 3:00 PM Room 2237 of the Rayburn House Office Building

This hearing will take place at 3:00 PM on 5/17/2012, in Room 2237 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The hearing is open to members of Congress, congressional staff, the media and the interested public.

Thursday, May 17, 2012
3:00 PM
Room 2237 of the Rayburn House Office Building
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on threats and restrictions faced by civil society and human rights defenders worldwide.

A dynamic and autonomous civil society including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), activists, journalists, and human rights defenders plays an important role in strengthening democracies and ensuring that human rights are protected. Recently enacted laws and pending legislation in some countries are severely limiting the ability of NGOs to operate freely, independently and effectively. On a more individual level, human rights defenders and their families are sometimes harassed, imprisoned, tortured, and even killed because of their work.

In addition to assessing these issues from a global perspective, this hearing will examine the impact of restrictive civil society legislation on human rights work in Ethiopia as well as the threats against human rights defenders and activists in Colombia.
Panel I
Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
Michael H. Posner, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State
Tomicah Tillemann, Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies, U.S. Department of State

Panel II
Brian Dooley, Director, Human Rights Defenders Program, Human Rights First
Adotei Akwei, Managing Director of Government Relations, Amnesty International
Lisa Haugaard, Executive Director, Latin America Working Group

If you have any questions, please contact the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission at 202-225-3599 or tlhrc@mail.house.gov.

James P. McGovern
Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC

Frank R. Wolf
Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC


Contact the Commission

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
House Committee on Foreign Affairs
4150 O'Neill Federal Building
200 C Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20515
United States of America

Phone: +1 (202) 225-3599
Fax: +1 (202) 226-5887


The Commission seeks to make its events, meetings and hearings accessible to persons with disabilities.

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Questions with regard to special accommodations in general (including availability of Commission materials in alternative formats and assistive listening devices, sign language interpretation, etc.) may be directed to the Commission.

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