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A Message from President Bush on Human Rights Day

February 11, 2013 2 minute Read by Amanda Schnetzer

"December Tenth is Human Rights Day. By marking the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we let those who struggle for their freedom know that we stand with them. Freedom is a universal human desire…it’s a force for peace and prosperity in the world. In recent years, we have seen great progress in the march of freedom. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall, democracy spread to formerly Communist countries. We’ve also seen the progress of freedom in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Today in Burma, there are encouraging signs. Aung San Suu Kyi, once blocked from taking office and confined to house arrest, is now a member of her nation’s legislature. She and others are working for a brighter future for her people. Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia are all building new democracies, and all have hard work ahead them. We must support them in this work, and help them from sliding back into tyranny. Inside Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and other nations, millions of people yearn to be free. They do not know when freedom will come, but they should know they are not alone. During my Presidency, Laura and I met with democratic activists, defenders of religious freedom, and families of political prisoners. Now, we are pursuing that passion through the Bush Institute. This year, we launched the Freedom Collection at freedomcollection.org. The collection tells the stories of men and women who are fighting for democracy, political freedom, and individual rights. So, on Human Rights Day, I urge you to pray for those who live in tyranny…watch those who tell their stories on the Freedom Collection…and extend this message to all who stand for freedom around the world: “We hear you, and we support your cause.”

 


Author

Amanda Schnetzer
Amanda Schnetzer

Amanda Schnetzer is Director of Global Initiatives at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas. In this role, she is responsible for developing innovative research, programmatic, and policy efforts to advance societies rooted in political and economic freedom and to empower women to lead in their communities and countries. Previously she served as the Bush Institute’s founding director of the Human Freedom Initiative. 

Amanda has twenty years of experience in the international arena and a background in public policy research and analysis, public affairs, and management of diverse, high-level stakeholders. As senior fellow and director of studies at Freedom House in New York, Amanda guided research for the organization’s definitive studies of freedom. She began her career at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, supporting research on U.S. foreign policy and international politics. Amanda is a published writer and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds degrees from Georgetown University and Southern Methodist University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

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