(Extensions of Remarks - October 03, 2002)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1744]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                     HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER, H.R. 5528


                        HON. BENJAMIN A. GILMAN

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                       Wednesday, October 2, 2002

  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, at the present, there is no independent 
institution or resource which focuses exclusively on international 
human rights. Although there are hundreds of private, nongovernmental 
entities concerned with international human rights, the community of 
organizations is often divided on issues of great importance. 
Accordingly, it is vital to have an entity that transcends the 
particular ideologies of the human rights groups and fosters the 
development of a consensus on U.S. human rights policy. Moreover, U.S. 
human rights policy requires legitimacy and direction as it competes 
within the broader foreign policy agenda for the resources and 
attention of policy-makers in Washington.
  To that end, I am introducing legislation that will create a center 
for international human rights which will focus on the role of human 
rights in U.S. foreign policy and improve the intellectual resources 
available to professionals and scholars working on human rights policy. 
The center will involve the participation of U.S. government and non-
government policy makers, activists and scholars as well as individuals 
from other countries. The center will sponsor fellows, activists and 
thinkers from the U.S. and abroad for integrated research projects as 
well as conducting seminars that will assist Washington officials in 
the policy-making process.
  Moreover, since the center for international human rights will be the 
only independent institution that will have human rights as its primary 
responsibility in Washington, it will complement the work of other 
institutions that have a slightly different focus such as regional 
institutions like the East West Center or functional institutions like 
the National Endowment for Democracy. Accordingly, the center will 
serve not only as a coordinating organization but as a motivating 
vehicle for enhancing U.S. government human rights policies.
  Accordingly, I urge my colleagues to support this human rights 
measure, H.R. 5528.

                               H.R. 5528

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       This Act may be cited as the ``Center for International 
     Human Rights Act of 2002''.


       In this Act:
       (1) Center.--The term ``Center'' means the Center for 
     International Human Rights.
       (2) Board.--The term ``Board'' means the Board of Directors 
     of the Center.


       (a) Establishment.--Congress finds that there has been 
     established in the District of Columbia a private, nonprofit 
     corporation known as the Center for International Human 
     Rights which is not an agency or establishment of the United 
     States Government.
       (b) Purposes.--The purposes of the Center, as set forth in 
     its articles of incorporation, are--
       (1) to establish programs devoted to the promotion of human 
     rights throughout the world;
       (2) to independently monitor and analyze the status of 
     human rights in Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, 
     Europe, and throughout the world;
       (3) in conjunction with both private and governmental 
     organizations, to investigate allegations of human rights 
     violations, particularly torture, genocide, extrajudicial 
     killing, imprisonment due to expression of political or 
     religious beliefs, and other gross violations of fundamental 
     human rights;
       (4) to sponsor fellows from the United States and other 
     countries who desire to study current issues related to 
     international human rights at the Center's headquarters in 
     the District of Columbia;
       (5) to establish and carry out a conference series to bring 
     together experts in the field of international human rights 
     from the United States and other countries to discuss and 
     disseminate information regarding human rights; and
       (6) to make grants to, and enter into co-operative 
     agreements with, nongovernmental organizations to promote 
     human rights, with priority on making grants to, and entering 
     into co-operative agreements with, indigenous human rights 
     organizations in countries the governments of which engage in 
     torture, genocide, extrajudicial killing, imprisonment due to 
     expression of political or religious beliefs, or other gross 
     violations of fundamental human rights.


       The Secretary of State is authorized to make an annual 
     grant to the Center to enable the Center to carry out its 
     purposes as specified in section 3(b). Such grants shall be 
     made with funds specifically appropriated for grants to the 


       (a) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this Act shall be 
     construed to make the Center an agency or establishment of 
     the United States Government or to make the members of the 
     Board of the Center, or the officers or employees of the 
     Center, officers or employees of the United States.
       (b) Oversight.--The Center and its grantees shall be 
     subject to the appropriate oversight procedures of Congress.


       There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this 
     Act $15,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2003 through 
     2007. Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of 
     appropriations under the preceding sentence are authorized to 
     remain available until expended.