Advancing Human Rights Vital to U.S. National Interests

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks with participants of the Lower Mekong Initiative Women's event in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on July 13, 2012. [State Department photo by Paul Watzlavick/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Michael Posner serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

As we start the New Year, I want to reflect on four events that took place in the last few months of 2012 that illustrate how the Obama Administration’s human rights policies are achieving concrete results. 

• In November, President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Burma. This visit was the culmination of 18 months of active diplomatic efforts between the United States and Burma focused significantly on political and economic reform and the protection of human rights. During the President’s visit, the Burmese government announced a series of important human rights commitments, including access for the International Committee of the Red Cross to prisons and conflict areas, the opening of… more »

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