U.S. Foreign Policy

Freedom House actively advocates for a U.S. foreign policy that seeks to support human rights and democracy through diplomacy, foreign assistance, and support for international human rights mechanisms.  Freedom House produces an annual report on the President’s annual foreign assistance budget request.  The report makes recommendations for changes that are then brought to Members of Congress and to the Administration.
Freedom House has also been at the forefront of the world’s most pressing democracy and human rights issues before the United States Government. Freedom House frequently hosts delegations of foreign human rights activists and arranges meetings for them with US policy makers.  Furthermore, Freedom House staff has testified before the several Congressional committees, including the House and Senate Foreign Affairs Committees, the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission) and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on a variety of issues including human rights in Asia, Morocco, Bahrain, the former Soviet Union.  Freedom House also hosts briefings on a wide variety of topics for Members of Congress and their staffs ranging from detailed descriptions of our publications to discussions with academics and activists on the most pressing freedom issues of the day.
Additionally, Freedom House is frequently consulted to assist with new Congressional legislation and resolutions.  Most recently, Freedom House has worked closely on Congressional efforts to re-write foreign assistance legislation, which has not been overhauled in 50 years.  Freedom House Executive Director Jennifer Windsor delivered testimony on the topic before the full House Foreign Affairs Committee and Freedom House staff has led a coalition of human rights a democracy groups in engaging in the reform debates.

Research & Reports

Contending with Putin's Russia

As President Barack Obama enters his second term, relations with Russia present him with a set of thorny problems. This package of materials includes policy proposals, a summary of Russian legal restrictions on NGOs, a chronology of repressive actions under Vladimir Putin since 2000, and graphs illustrating Russia's score declines in Freedom House's annual reports.



Investing in Freedom: Analyzing the FY 2012 International Affairs Budget Request

During difficult budget times, it is natural that foreign aid should come under the same scrutiny as other parts of the budget. Indeed, a recent public opinion poll on budget priorities found that most Americans estimate that foreign assistance comprises 21% of the annual budget, and favor reducing it to around 11% of the total budget.Given the reality—that U.S. foreign aid currently makes up only about 1% of the federal budget—further cuts to what is already a miniscule part of the budget are both unwarranted and would appear to have little popular support.



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