Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission is a bipartisan congressional body that promotes, defends and advocates for human rights. The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission is a bipartisan body established with the unanimous consent of the United States House of Representatives in 2008.The Commission is charged with promoting, defending and advocating for international human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant human rights instruments.

The Commission undertakes public education activities, provides expert human rights advice and encourages members of Congress to actively engage in human rights matters. In carrying out its mandate, the Commission collaborates with congressional staff, the U.S. Senate and the Executive branch, and continually engages with national and international civil society organizations. The Commission is chaired by two members of the House of Representatives who are appointed by the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader. For the 115th Congress, Rep. James P. McGovern (MA-02) is the Democratic Co-Chair, and Rep. Randy M. Hultgren (IL-14) is the Republican Co-Chair. The Speaker and the Leader also name the eight members of the Commission's Executive Committee, four from each party, upon recommendation of the Co-Chairs. For the 115th Congress, the members of the Executive Committee are: Keith Ellison (D-MN) Trent Franks (R-AZ) Ted Lieu (D-CA) Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) Norma J. Torres (D-CA) There are two vacancies.

Mission: The mission of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission is to promote, defend and advocate internationally recognized human rights norms in a nonpartisan manner, both within and outside of Congress, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant human rights instruments. The Commission is authorized to: • Develop congressional strategies to promote, defend and advocate internationally recognized human rights norms reflecting the role and responsibilities of the United States Congress. • Raise greater awareness of human rights issues among Members of Congress and their staff, as well as the public. • Provide expert human rights advice to Members of Congress and their staff • Advocate on behalf of individuals or groups whose human rights are violated or are in danger of being violated. • Collaborate closely with professional staff of relevant congressional committees on human rights matters. • Collaborate closely with the President of the United States and the Executive Branch, as well as recognized national and international human rights entities, to promote human rights initiatives in the United States Congress. • Encourage Members of Congress to actively engage in human rights matters.

Operating as usual

Join us Friday, November 20th @ 10am EST for a virtual hearing on the status of the human rights of indigenous peoples i...
11/18/2020
The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas

Join us Friday, November 20th @ 10am EST for a virtual hearing on the status of the human rights of indigenous peoples in the Americas.

Click here for more details:
https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/events/hearings/rights-indigenous-peoples-americas

Announcement Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a virtual hearing on the status of the human rights of indigenous peoples in the Americas. At least 30 million and up to 50 million indigenous people live in Latin America and the Caribbean. Their share of the population varies by c...

Join us Tuesday, November 10th @ 10am EST for a VIRTUAL BRIEFING on the current human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. ...
11/06/2020
Human Rights in Saudi Arabia: An Update

Join us Tuesday, November 10th @ 10am EST for a VIRTUAL BRIEFING on the current human rights situation in Saudi Arabia.

Click below for more details: https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/events/hearings/human-rights-saudi-arabia-update

Announcement Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for an online briefing on the current human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. On November 21 and 22, Saudi Arabia will host world leaders for the annual G20 summit on the theme “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All.” ...

On Thursday, Oct. 29 @ 11am EDT, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the Senate Human Rights Caucus will hold a V...
10/22/2020
Atrocity Prevention and Early Warning: The U.S. Government Framework and Côte d'Ivoire

On Thursday, Oct. 29 @ 11am EDT, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the Senate Human Rights Caucus will hold a VIRTUAL BRIEFING on the U.S. government atrocity prevention framework and Côte d'Ivoire. For more details and to register visit:

https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/events/hearings/atrocity-prevention-and-early-warning-us-government-framework-and-c-te-divoire

Announcement Co-Hosted by the Senate Human Rights Caucus Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the Senate Human Rights Caucus for an online briefing on the U.S. government atrocity prevention framework and Côte d'Ivoire. In August 2020, the State Department released the second repo...

In "Today in Pictures" from the The Straits Times, onlookers in Paris, France watch the installation of a tarp calling f...
10/16/2020

In "Today in Pictures" from the The Straits Times, onlookers in Paris, France watch the installation of a tarp calling for the release of Algerian journalist and Defending Freedoms Project prisoner of conscience Khaled Drareni. Artwork is by French street artist and painter Christian Guemy aka C215. Drareni, 40, was sentenced to two years in jail for his coverage of the mass protest movement that toppled Algeria's longtime president last year. PHOTO: AFP

Join us Thursday, October 1st at 9:30 AM for a VIRTUAL HEARING on responses to enforced disappearance in Latin America. ...
09/28/2020
Enforced Disappearance in Latin America: Taking Stock

Join us Thursday, October 1st at 9:30 AM for a VIRTUAL HEARING on responses to enforced disappearance in Latin America.

This hearing brings together esteemed witnesses that will discuss responses to enforced disappearance drawing on experiences from Colombia, Central America and Mexico. These encompass initiatives to search for victims and preserve their memory, strategies to pursue accountability domestically and internationally, the creation of new institutional mechanisms such as official search commissions, and efforts to implement regional and international conventions. Witnesses will also address the challenges that remain and offer recommendations as to how the U.S. Congress can best support civil society and governmental initiatives on this issue.
https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/events/hearings/enforced-disappearance-latin-america-taking-stock

Announcement Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a virtual hearing on responses to enforced disappearance in Latin America.

Today marks 6 years since Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti was unjustly sentenced to life in prison in China. Ilham Tohti is a...
09/23/2020
Ilham Tohti

Today marks 6 years since Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti was unjustly sentenced to life in prison in China.

Ilham Tohti is a Uyghur economics professor at Beijing’s Minzu University, where he was known for his research on Uyghur-Han relations as well as his activism for the implementation of regional autonomy laws in China.

In 2006, Tohti founded UighurOnline, a Chinese-language website devoted to fostering understanding between Uighur and Han people, China’s dominant ethnic group.

In 2008, authorities shut down his website citing the websites links to Uyghur “extremists” abroad. After the July 5, 2009 ethnic rioting between Uyghurs and Han in Ürümqi, Tohti’s whereabouts were unknown after he had been summoned from his home in Beijing. Tohti was subsequently released on August 23, 2009 after international pressure and condemnation.

Tohti was again arrested in January 2014, after police raided his apartment and confiscated his laptops, books, and papers. In September 2014, after a two-day trial, Tohti was found guilty of “separatism” and sentenced to life imprisonment in addition to all of his assets being frozen.

In 2019, The European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize to Ilham Tohti, citing his tireless work to foster dialogue and understanding between Uyghurs and other Chinese people. That same year, Ilham Tohti was also honored in absentia with Freedom House's Freedom Award.

On this 6th anniversary of the unjust sentencing of Ilham Tohti, we renew the calls for his immediate and unconditional release, along with all other prisoners of conscience in China.

https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/defending-freedom-project/prisoners-by-country/China/Ilham%20Tohti

Every year on August 19, we celebrate World Humanitarian Day to honor the aid workers who risk their lives in humanitari...
08/19/2020
World Humanitarian Day | United Nations

Every year on August 19, we celebrate World Humanitarian Day to honor the aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service and rally support for people affected by crises around the world.

This year commemorates the humanitarian workers killed and injured in the course of their work, and honors all aid and health workers who continue, despite the odds, to provide life-saving support and protection to people most in need.

https://www.un.org/en/observances/humanitarian-day

On August 13, 2017, Defending Freedoms Project prisoner of conscience Gao Zhisheng was forcibly disappeared by authoriti...
08/14/2020
Gao Zhisheng

On August 13, 2017, Defending Freedoms Project prisoner of conscience Gao Zhisheng was forcibly disappeared by authorities in China for defending those persecuted for exercising their freedom to practice religion.

Gao Zhisheng is one of the most respected human rights lawyers in China. He has defended activists and religious minorities and documented human rights abuses in China. This award-winning lawyer has handled a number of high-profile human rights cases, including those of Christians in Xinjiang and Falun Gong practitioners.

In 2006, Gao was convicted of “subversion,” and was sentenced to three years in prison. He was incarcerated in December 2011 for allegedly violating the conditions of his suspended three-year sentence. Gao was released from prison on August 7, 2014, was kept under house arrest until August 2017, and is now reportedly being held in custody with no contact with the outside world.

On the 3rd anniversary of his forced disappearance, we call for the release of Gao Zhisheng, along with all other prisoners of conscience currently imprisoned in China.

https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/defending-freedom-project/prisoners-by-country/China/Gao%20Zhisheng

Detained Since: August 13, 2017. Charges: No official charges. Sentence: No official sentence. Biography: Gao Zhisheng is one of the most respected human rights lawyers in China. He has defended activists and religious minorities and documented human rights abuses in China. This award-winning lawyer...

August 9th is International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.This year’s theme is COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ ...
08/09/2020
International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples | United Nations

August 9th is International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.

This year’s theme is COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience and a virtual event will feature a panel discussion on the innovative ways indigenous peoples continue demonstrating resilience and strength in the face of the pandemic, while confronting grave threats to their survival

Indigenous communities already face a host of challenges, and the unfortunate present reality is that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are worsening these challenges further still. Indigenous communities already experience poor access to healthcare, significantly higher rates of diseases, lack of access to essential services, sanitation, and other key preventive measures, such as clean water, soap, disinfectant, etc. Likewise, most nearby local medical facilities are often under-equipped and under-staffed. Even when indigenous peoples can access healthcare services, they can face stigma and discrimination. A key factor is to ensure services and facilities are provided in indigenous languages, as appropriate to the specific situation of Indigenous peoples.

In order to raise awareness of the needs of indigenous peoples, every 9 August commemorates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

https://www.un.org/en/observances/indigenous-day

On July 30, 2018, Saudi security forces arrested women's rights activist Samar Badawi, who has since been held in prison...
07/31/2020
Detained Women's Rights Defenders

On July 30, 2018, Saudi security forces arrested women's rights activist Samar Badawi, who has since been held in prison facing charges including sharing information related to Saudi women’s rights with foreign organizations and officials.

In 2011, Samar started legal actions to ensure women’s right to vote. She filed numerous lawsuits and used the Arab Charter for Human Rights to challenge the court’s rulings. In 2011 and 2012 Samar joined the Women’s Driving Campaign and challenged the governments legal basis for rejecting her driver's license application. She helped other women when they were arrested or faced court proceedings for defying the driving ban. These courageous acts led to her receiving the 2012 International Women of Courage Award by the US State Department.

She is also the sister of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi. From 2008 – 2010, Samar challenged the male guardianship system when she tried leaving her abusive father and was charged with “disobedience.” In 2010 Samar filed a “Adhl” case against her father to remove him as her guardian so that she could marry human rights lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair. She was arrested for her outstanding arrest warrant for “disobedience” and spent more than six months in prison.

On February 2020, the second hearing of the case of Samar Badawi was held, without any international observers allowed to attend the hearing. Following her arrest on 30 July 2018, the woman human rights defender was subjected to a prolonged investigation, during which she was tortured and sexually harassed.

On the 2nd anniversary of her arrest, we renew the calls for Samar Badawi's full exoneration, as well as all women's rights and human rights defenders imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/defending-freedom-project/prisoners-by-country/Saudi%20Arabia/Detained-Women%27s-Rights-Defenders

As Saudi Arabia prepared to lift its long-standing ban on women drivers in June 2018, authorities launched an unprecedented crackdown on women human rights defenders with the May 15th arrests of prominent activists. Authorities and government-aligned media then tried to discredit five of the activis...

11 years ago today, Uighur Muslim Gulmira Imin was arrested in Aksu, Xinjiang allegedly playing a role in organizing the...
07/14/2020
Gulmira Imin

11 years ago today, Uighur Muslim Gulmira Imin was arrested in Aksu, Xinjiang allegedly playing a role in organizing the initially peaceful Urumqi protests of 2009. The Urumqi Intermediate People's Court delivered a heavy-handed sentence of life in prison for charges of Splittism, leaking state secrets, and organizing an illegal demonstration.

In spring 2009, Ms. Imin became the moderator of Salkin, a Uighur-language culture and news website to which she had previously contributed poetry and short stories and had been critical of government policies in her online writing. On this day in 2009, Ms. Imin was arrested in Aksu after authorities alleged she had organized the protests, posted an announcement for them on Salkin, and leaked state secrets by phone to her husband in Norway.

Gulmira Imin alleges she was tortured and forced to sign documents while in detention. She reportedly was not allowed to meet with her lawyer until the trial.

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom advocates on behalf of Ms. Imin through the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Defending Freedoms Project.

On this 11th anniversary of her arrest, we call for the immediate release of Gulmira Imin and all other prisoners of conscience currently held in #China.

https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/defending-freedom-project/prisoners-by-country/China/Gulmira-Imin

Detained Since: July 14, 2009. Charges: Splittism, leaking state secrets, and organizing an illegal demonstration. Sentence: Life in prison. Biography: Gulmira Imin is a Uighur Muslim and served as a government employee in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in northwest Chi...

06/25/2020
United Nations Human Rights

United Nations Human Rights

#COVID19 has created additional challenges to the struggle against torture and ill-treatment. Join this online discussion on the #InternationalDayAgainstTorture to learn more through testimonies from the ground.

Watch the discussion: http://ow.ly/ueYS50AiyU5

12 years ago today, Gulgeldy Annaniyazov was arrested for illegal reentry to the country of which he is a citizen of, #T...
06/24/2020
Gulgeldy Annaniyazov

12 years ago today, Gulgeldy Annaniyazov was arrested for illegal reentry to the country of which he is a citizen of, #Turkmenistan. On this 12 year anniversary, we renew the calls for his release.

Gulgeldy Annaniyazov is a political dissident and human rights activist who after organizing the first ever anti-government demonstration in Ashgabat, returned to the country after six years in Norway as a political refugee.

The Turkmen government responded to his peaceful demonstration by sentencing him to 15 years in prison. Mr. Annaniyazov was released under a presidential amnesty in January 1999. After his release, Mr. Annaniyazov received refugee status in Norway in 2002.

It has been reported that Mr. Annaniyazov was charged with illegal entry into Turkmenistan and that his trial took place in July 2008. On October 7, 2008, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison. The Turkmen government reportedly brought additional charges against him in connection with the anti-government demonstration he organized in July 1995. It has also been reported that these charges have increased the length of Mr. Annaniyazov’s prison term.

He was not represented by an attorney and all of the hearings were closed to the public. The court has also refused to provide Mr. Annaniyazov’s family with a copy of the sentence, leaving them without any specific information about his conviction or where he is imprisoned.

On this 12th anniversary of his arrest, we renew the calls for the Turkmen government to release Gulgeldy Annaniyazov and all nonviolent prisoners of conscience amid #Covid19.

https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/defending-freedom-project/prisoners-by-country/Turkmenistan/Gulgeldy%20Annaniyazov

Detained Since: June 24, 2008. Charges: Illegal entry into Turkmenistan. Sentence: A combined sixteen years in prison. Biography: Gulgeldy Annaniyazov is a political dissident and human rights activist who has been detained in Turkmenistan since 2008, when he returned to the country after six years....

On June 22, 2011, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja was sentenced to life in prison in #Bahrain for allegedly "financing and particip...
06/23/2020
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja

On June 22, 2011, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja was sentenced to life in prison in #Bahrain for allegedly "financing and participating in terrorism to overthrow the government. Spying for a foreign country." Reporters sans frontières / Reporters Without Borders / RSF serves as the partner organization that advocates on behalf of al-Kwahaja's case.

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has been a well-known human rights defender for more than twenty years. Until February 2011, al-Khawaja worked as a regional coordinator for the international organization Front Line Defenders.

al-Khawaja has suffered four fractures to his face, requiring a four hour surgery to repair his jaw as a result of beating by security guards. He has also been subjected to sexual and psychological torture.

On this 9th anniversary of his sentencing, we renew the calls for his release based on humanitarian grounds.

https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/defending-freedom-project/prisoners-by-country/Bahrain/Abdulhadi%20al-Khawaja

Detained Since: April 9, 2011. Charges: Financing and participating in terrorism to overthrow the government. Spying for a foreign country. Sentence: Life in prison. Biography: Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has been a well-known human rights defender for more than twenty years. Until February 2011, al-Khawaj...

8 years ago today, Raif Badawi was arrested by Saudi authorities and charged with apostasy, “insulting Islam through ele...
06/17/2020
Raif Badawi

8 years ago today, Raif Badawi was arrested by Saudi authorities and charged with apostasy, “insulting Islam through electronic channels,” and “parental disobedience.” On this somber anniversary, we continue to call for Raif's immediate and unconditional release from prison amid the ongoing #Covid19 pandemic in #SaudiArabia. Congressman Jim McGovern advocates on behalf of Raif Badawi through the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Defending Freedoms Project.

Badawi is one of the most prominent human rights advocate fighting for a just and modern Saudi Arabia. The 2015 Laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Badawi was sentenced after appealing his original 2013 conviction to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes by a Saudi court for insulting Islam.

Today is also the birthday of Raif’s lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, who celebrates his 41st birthday from prison in Saudi Arabia for allegedly “Inciting public opinion against the government and insulting the country's leaders and judiciary.” He has been unjustly imprisoned in Saudi prison since April 2014.

As founder of the organization Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, al-Khair was arrested for his human rights activism and represented Raif Badawi’s case up until his arrest. Rep. Ro Khanna advocates on behalf of Waleed’s case in the US Congress through the Defending Freedoms Project.
On the anniversary of Raif Badawi’s arrest and Waleed Abu al-Khair’s 41st birthday, we call for their immediate and unconditional release based on humanitarian grounds amid the #Covid19 pandemic.


https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/defending-freedom-project/prisoners-by-country/Saudi%20Arabia/Raif%20Badawi

Detained Since: June 17, 2012. Charges: Violating Islamic values and propagating liberal thought. Sentence: Ten years in prison, 1,000 lashes, a fine of 1 million riyals (equal to about $266,000), and is banned from any media work or foreign travel for 10 years after his release from prison. Biograp...

Address

200 C Street SW, O'Neill Federal Building, Suite 5100
Washington D.C., DC
20024

Washington Metro: Federal Center SW stop

General information

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 In 1983, Congressmen Tom Lantos (D-CA) and John Edward Porter (R-IL) founded the bipartisan Congressional Human Rights Caucus (CHRC). The CHRC was dedicated to the defense of all rights codified in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At the end of the 106th Congress, Congressman Porter retired from Congress and Congressman Frank R. Wolf (R-VA) assumed his responsibilities as the Republican Co-Chairman of the Caucus. After the death of founding CHRC Co-Chairman Tom Lantos on February 11, 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appointed Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA) as Democratic CHRC Co-Chairman, joining Republican CHRC Co-Chair Wolf. On the Speaker’s initiative to institutionalize the CHRC as a full entity in the House of Representatives, the House unanimously adopted H. Res. 1451, the “Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Establishment Resolution,” on September 24, 2008. Pursuant to H. Res. 1451, the Speaker and the Minority Leader appointed Rep. James P. McGovern and Rep. Frank R. Wolf as Commission Co-Chairmen for the remainder of the 110th Congress. In March 2009, the Speaker and the Minority Leader of the House reappointed both Congressmen McGovern and Wolf as Co-Chairmen for the 111th Congress (2009-2010). Both Congressmen were subsequently reappointed for the 112th (2011-2012) and 113th (2013-2014) Congresses. After Rep. Wolf’s retirement at the end of 2014, Congressman Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) was named by the Speaker as the new Republican Co-Chairman for the 114th Congress (2015-2016). Rep. McGovern was reappointed as the Democratic Co-Chairman. Also pursuant to H. Res. 1451, for each Congress and upon the recommendation of the Co-Chairmen, the Speaker and Minority Leader confirm the appointment of eight Members of Congress to the Commission’s Executive Committee. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗰𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗼𝗺 𝗟𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗼𝘀 The Commission is named in honor of the life and legacy of the late Congressman Thomas Peter Lantos (D-CA). Mr. Lantos was the only Holocaust survivor to ever serve in the U.S. Congress (1980 – 2008). He was born in Budapest, Hungary, where as a teenager he was sent to a forced labor camp by the German Nazi occupying military. He escaped the labor camp and sought refuge with an aunt who lived in a safe house operated by Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who used his official status and power to issue visas to save thousands of Hungarian Jews. Mr. Lantos quickly joined the anti-Nazi resistance. After the Soviet Union liberated Budapest in 1945, Mr. Lantos tried to locate his mother and family members, but he gradually came to realize that they had all perished in the Holocaust. In 1947, Mr. Lantos came to the United States to study on a Hillel Foundation Scholarship. He earned his B.A. in 1949 and his M.A. in economics in 1950 from the University of Washington in Seattle. Three years later he received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He subsequently served as a foreign policy commentator on television and as a senior advisor to several U.S. Senators. In 1980, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for the 12th District of California. Throughout his congressional career, Congressman Lantos dedicated all of his efforts to raising awareness and respect for human rights around the world and became a leading human rights champion in the Congress. In 1983, he co-founded the Congressional Human Rights Caucus with then-Congressman John Edward Porter (R-IL). After serving 27 years on the U.S. House Committee of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lantos was appointed Chairman of the Committee during the 110th Congress. Among his many human rights accomplishments, Mr. Lantos was the first U.S. government official to issue a formal invitation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to attend a formal meeting of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in the U.S. Congress in 1987, an initiative that opened and deepened the congressional relationship with His Holiness. In addition, Mr. Lantos and his wife, Mrs. Annette Lantos, were dedicated to the promotion of the heroic work of Swedish Diplomat Raul Wallenberg, who saved countless lives during the Holocaust in Hungary by issuing "protective passports," declaring the bearer to be a citizen of neutral Sweden. In January 2008, upon announcing his retirement, Mr. Lantos said: “It is only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and a fighter in the anti-Nazi underground could have received an education, raised a family and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a member of Congress. I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country.” Congressman Lantos died on February 11th, 2008, at Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland. Comments Policy The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission welcomes and encourages civil debate and discussion of human rights issues. Please note that comments posted by users do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission Co-Chairs or staff. The Commission reserves the prerogative to delete at its discretion user comments that are abusive or threatening, include profanity, name-calling or personal attacks, or are otherwise inappropriate. The Commission also reserves the right to block any user who violates Commission policies or those of Facebook. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:30 - 17:30
Tuesday 09:30 - 17:30
Wednesday 09:30 - 17:30
Thursday 09:30 - 17:30
Friday 09:30 - 17:30

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(202) 225-3599

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Our Story

The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission is a bipartisan body established with the unanimous consent of the United States House of Representatives in 2008.The Commission is charged with promoting, defending and advocating for international human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant human rights instruments. The Commission undertakes public education activities, provides expert human rights advice and encourages members of Congress to actively engage in human rights matters. In carrying out its mandate, the Commission collaborates with congressional staff, the U.S. Senate and the Executive branch, and continually engages with national and international civil society organizations. The Commission is chaired by two members of the House of Representatives who are appointed by the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader. For the 116th Congress, Rep. James P. McGovern (MA-02) is the Democratic Co-Chair, and Rep. Christopher H. Smith (NJ-04) is the Republican Co-Chair. The Speaker and the Leader also name the eight members of the Commission's Executive Committee, four from each party, upon recommendation of the Co-Chairs. For the 116th Congress, the members of the Executive Committee are: Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA)