ICYMI, earlier this week, the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry released a report on the human rights situtaion in the DPRK.

Secretary Kerry is in Indonesia today to discuss climate change, security, democracy, regional integration, and human rights. Check out his video message to the Indonesia people here and you can watch Secretary Kerry’s remarks live on and Sunday, February 16 at 4:00 a.m. EST.

Read more about his trip to Asia here.

Making LGBT Rights Human Rights Through the Global Equality Fund
When celebrating Human Rights Day as a global community we are reminded of efforts taking place to advance the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons all around the world. Through the work of passionate and committed leaders, and support from both the public and private sectors, we are starting to see more barriers to equality broken down and a new era of acceptance slowly emerging. Read more on DipNote.
Advancing equality for LGBT persons isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s fundamental to advancing democracy and human rights.
John Kerry at the United Nations, September 26, 2013
The March on Washington: 50 Years Later

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic 'I Have a Dream' speech that continues to galvanize generation after generation in the pursuit of equality for all mankind. Read about Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook's experience growing up as a King family friend on DipNote!

And here is exactly what this rule means: If you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. If you are the spouse of a non-citizen, your visa application will be treated equally.
Secretary Kerry on the Same-Sex Couple Visa Change, August 2, 2013. 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses employees at the U.S. Embassy in London, United Kingdom, on August 2, 2013, to announce that the U.S. Department of State would immediately start granting visas to same-sex couples just as it does for opposite-sex couples, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act. Answers to FAQ’s are available here

Next up on our list: we need to become more inclusive of people with all types of disabilities, especially invisible disabilities, and remove the painful stigma associated with disability.  It is getting better, and mindsets are changing, but there is still much more work to be done.

Ten Ways To Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor

No individual or organization acting alone can eliminate the worst forms of child labor, but together we can make a difference.  Individuals, governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and civil society groups each have a unique and vital role to play.  To reach our goal, we must focus our collective efforts on eradicating the root causes of child labor so that children can break out of the cycle of poverty.

Learn more about how we can meet this shared responsibility here.

World Day Against Child Labor

Each year since 2002, the international community has come together on June 12 to mark World Day Against Child Labor.  According to estimates of the International Labor Organization (ILO), over 215 million children worldwide are engaged in child labor.  This year, we call particular attention to the plight of those children – mostly girls – who are engaged in domestic work. 

Globally, domestic workers comprise a significant part of the modern service economy, and all indications are that the number of domestic workers is increasing steadily in both developed and developing countries.  Most domestic workers work for private households, usually without contracts or clear terms of employment.  Because most domestic work is by informal arrangement, behind closed doors, and with no contracts or clear terms of employment, these workers are often invisible.  This hidden crisis requires multiple strategies and forms of engagement. MORE