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ADVISORY: Domestic Human Rights and National Security

How Applying International Human Rights Standards to Domestic Practices Enhances U. S. National Security Goals

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Contact: Madeline Meth
Phone: 202.741.6277

Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 12:30pm – 2:00pm

WASHINGTON, DC—The United States has long prided itself on being a human rights leader. It has often called other countries to account for their abuses. But it has frequently been reticent to submit itself to the same strict standards to which others are held.

Partly that has been a result of American history and the country’s understanding of itself as an "exceptional nation." Partly it has been because rights issues in the United States have traditionally been conceived in terms of civil rights rather than human rights, the latter regarded as applicable largely to others. Regardless of the reason, however, the failure to embrace a human rights framework for understanding issues of domestic policy has had damaging implications for U. S. foreign policy and national security interests and deprived both social change advocates and decision makers of a valuable resource with which to address domestic problems.

This panel will address how an international human rights framework that encompasses both civil and political as well as social and economic rights within the United States can advance American interests around the globe. Thus, in addition to addressing traditional notions of national security, civil liberties, and civil rights, panelists will also address how violations of social and economic rights implicate U.S. national security and how it is in the national interest of the United States to embrace a broader policy approach that emphasizes sustainable security.

Presentation and discussion moderation by:

William F. Schulz, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress

Featured panelists:

Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

Laura Murphy, D.C. Strategist for the Campaign for a New Domestic Human Rights Agenda and President of Laura W. Murphy, LLC

Shira Saperstein, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress

A light lunch will be served at 12:00.

Click here to RSVP for this event


Center for American Progress 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor Washington, DC 20005

Map & Directions Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center


To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or