October 3, 2002 - Issue: Vol. 148, No. 128 — Daily Edition107th Congress (2001 - 2002) - 2nd Session
HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER, H.R. 5528
(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 [www.gpo.gov] 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, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Center for International Human Rights Act of 2002''. SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS. 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. SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF CENTER; PURPOSES. (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. SEC. 4. GRANTS TO CENTER. 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 Center. SEC. 5. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION; OVERSIGHT; RELATED ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS. (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. SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS; AVAILABILITY. 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. ____________________