Thematics Panel: 2017 DRL Workshop for Potential Grant Applicants


[MUSIC PLAYING] MS. CLAIRE SNEED: Welcome. We’re very glad to see
you here this morning. My name is Claire Sneed. I’m one of the deputy
directors in the Office of Global programs at
DRL, and it’s my pleasure to introduce to you some of
my colleagues from the General Bureau and friends of DRL. I’ll start by introducing
our panelists. And then each of them will
speak for about five minutes about the work that
their office does. And then we’ll
open it up to Q&A. Sitting here at
the end, we’ll just move from right to
left or left to right, Charles Blaha from the Security
and Human Rights Office. Next to him is Dan Nadel from
the Office of International Religious Freedom. Sitting next to
Dan is Lynn Sicade from the Bureau of Multilateral
and Global Affairs. Next to Lynn is Steve Moody from
the International Labor Affairs Office in DRL. And then on the end
is Katrina Fotovat, who is with the Office of
Global Women’s Issues, GWI, who is also a former
deputy in the GP office and has a long history
working with this event and perhaps even initiating this
annual gathering with our NGO partners. So we’ll start with– we’ll
just move down the row, and then we’ll open
up to questions. MR. CHARLES BLAHA: OK,
where’s my microphone? MS. SNEED: You’re all set. MR. BLAHA: OK, good
morning, everyone. My name is Cob Blaha. I work for the Office of
Security and Human Rights. I’m only going to talk
very briefly because we want to spend as
much time as possible with you because this
is really for you. I want to tell you first about
the philosophy of my office. Then I’ll tell you what we do. And then I will tell you
what types of programs could help us the most. The first thing
you should notice about the name of our
office is the name. It’s not called security
or human rights. It’s called security
and human rights. And the defining philosophy,
the sort of the unified field theory of our office, is that
security and human rights are mutually reinforcing. People who put those
on opposite ends who say you have
to balance really miss the point, because
one of the things we know– and it’s supported by a
growing body of research– is that governments and
what we’re interested in, security forces, that respect
human rights and that are accountable when they
don’t are successful. Security forces that don’t
respect human rights actually complicate the
problems, especially if you’re talking
about counterterrorism. If you’re interested, there
was a recent UNDP study that interviewed
hundreds of people who had joined violent extremist
organizations in Africa. 71% of those people said that
the thing that pushed them over the tipping point was
some abuse by security forces. So that’s just one example. There were others, but
that’s just one example of why it’s really important
for security forces to be rights-respecting
and accountable. The thing that my office does
that we’re best known for and that’s probably our
main focus of our activity is we do Leahy vetting. I don’t know how many of
you have heard of the Leahy Law, probably many of you. But for those of you who
haven’t, the Leahy Law prohibits United States
security assistance from going to units
or individuals that have committed gross
violations of human rights. My office is the chief
implementing office in the State
Department for that. In 2016, we process
212,000 cases. This year, we’ll
do about 240,000. We also are responsible working
with the rest of our colleagues in the Human Rights Bureau
for human rights input into munitions licenses
of all types, whether it’s direct commercial sales,
foreign military sales, foreign military financing,
things like that. We’re also responsible for– we’re also the clearing
house for the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, you
know, the listing. And then later, the
waiver decisions are not on security
assistance for countries that use child soldiers. And then finally, we also are
the bureau-wide clearinghouse for ideas about
security force training. Here are the type
of things we need. And a lot of times– and
later this afternoon, I’m going to be going
to a foreign embassy to explain the Leahy Law. Later this month, I’ll be going
to a seminar with lots and lots of foreign military officers. And in compiling– in
being able to vet cases under the Leahy Law, one of the
things we rely on principally are reports from civil
society, NGOs, and the media. And we get lots of
complaints from governments and from other militaries
and from police forces about the fact that
we rely on reports from NGOs and the media. We do that because governments
aren’t very forthcoming often about their own abuses. But one of the ways that you
can help us is through programs that train NGOs to produce
fact-based, evidence-based, reliable, detail-oriented
reports about abuses, not just that somebody was
tortured in x province, but the name of the person,
the date, where, if possible, information about the units
that are located there, information about whether
there was any effort at accountability– same thing for media. The other thing that
would really help us is civil society
that has the capacity to look with authority
at security forces that knows the structure, that
knows the budgets, that knows the deployments, that knows
the organizational details of security forces. Both– this will help
both in reporting, but also in oversight,
especially when it comes to things like whether there’s
any accountability for abuses, how the budget is being spent,
who’s in charge of what unit. And then the final
thing I’d say– and I think I’m probably
at the end of my time– is programs– the other
thing that would really help are programs aimed at standing
up a corp of academics or policymakers who can do
some of these same things but also provide governments
with intelligent policy alternatives and
policy recommendations for their security forces. So let me cede the
floor here to Dan, but I’m ready to take
your questions when we’re all finished. MR. DAN NADEL: Good morning. My name is Dan Nadel,
and I’m the Director of the Office of
International Religious Freedom within the DRL bureau. The office was
founded back in 1998. It was actually created
by an act of Congress. And one slightly unique
feature about our office is in addition to being
a part of the DRL bureau, we are headed by a
senior official who does nothing but promote
religious freedom around the world, and
that’s an ambassador at large for international
religious freedom. That position has been
vacant since January, but the president has
nominated Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to that position. Governor Brownback had
his confirmation hearing before the Senate
several weeks ago. So in the relative near term,
he may be coming to join us. So we’re looking towards that. To give you a flavor of
what our office is about, the reason that Congress
created it in the first place was I think based
on a perception that religious freedom has been
a key feature to the success of this country in the
250 or so years, you know, that we’ve existed. Many of the people who
ended up on these shores were fleeing
religiously-motivated persecution at home. That was true in the
17th and 18th century. That continues to be true
today in the 21st century. The religious freedom is
found in our first amendment. And when you look at the
international standards, you can find language very
similar to the language of our first amendment
in Article 18 of the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights. And it’s also article 18 of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Religious freedom is, in
short, about the right of every single person
to believe or not to believe, to
change their beliefs, to speak about their
beliefs to other people, to teach their beliefs
to their children, to come together for
worship or gathering with other people
of similar beliefs. These are the rights
that we’re talking about. And one thing I would
emphasize is these rights do not belong to groups. They belong to individuals
as individuals, and individuals get to
decide what group they want to affiliate with or
not, what group they want to become a part of or leave. These are very fundamental human
rights as individual rights in our system. So the basic premise
of our office is we are working in
partnership with our colleagues across the human rights
apparatus of the State Department to advance respect
for these particular sets of freedoms. And the freedoms that
I mentioned simply can’t exist without a whole
bunch of supporting rights, like freedom of assembly,
freedom of association, freedom of expression. So all of these form
the core of what we’re trying to achieve globally. We see ourselves as
the primary point of contact between
international civil society, domestic civil society
organizations, and the State Department when it comes
to matters of freedom of religion or belief. So organizations that have
an interest in informing us of cases of specific
instances of abuse so that we can kind of push that
information through our system here, that’s one
reason folks would want to come and speak to us. Another reason is
that organizations might have theories
for change, ways that they believe we can
better promote tolerance or mutual respect
in countries where the situation between majority
and minority communities is either tense or
frankly, downright violent. And looking at the state of the
world, there’s a lot of good– there’s an increasing
body of research. And the Pew Foundation
recently found that some 80% of people around the
world live in countries with either moderate
or severe restrictions on religious freedom. And there is a
strong correlation between countries that fail
to respect religious freedom and issues of broader societal
violence, governmental abuses, violent extremist organizations,
and those organizations recruiting and finding
people to join their ranks. As Cob said, this is a
significant security concern. And then when you look at
countries that actually get these rights effectively
protected, which are not just the kind of
Western democracies that one might
immediately think about, but there are a number of
countries across Latin America, across Africa, Southeast
Asia, elsewhere in the world where
governments are effectively protecting these
rights, what you see is a very strong correlation
between the success of those societies
and the vindication of rights of minorities. The most economically vibrant,
successful, stable countries in the world are countries
that protect religious freedom. So essentially when it
comes to program activities, a lot of what we’re
looking at is getting at root causes of the problems. And those problems fall into
a couple of different baskets. First is governments, what
governments are doing or not doing that infringes
on the ability of all of their citizens to
believe or not to believe. These may be laws. These may be policies. You know, do the police
raid places of worship? Are there laws that
prohibit somebody from changing their faith? So getting at those types
of structural limitations is an important aspect
programmatically of what we’re doing. And hopefully, that’s
supporting policy work that we’re doing to
engage governments to address these concerns
from the diplomatic channels. The other piece of
this whole puzzle involves societal actors
and societal action, because of course while there
are plenty of governments that are doing the
wrong thing or that are restricting the
ability of people to believe or not to believe,
what you see in many, many places is societal
hostility particularly directed at members of
minority communities. And those minority communities
can vary dramatically from country to country. I mean, in Sri Lanka,
it might be Christians and Hindus and Muslims. In Bangladesh, it might
be Hindus and Buddhists and Christians. In Syria, it could be
all of the above, people who are politically perceived to
be in opposition to the ruling regime. So the context makes a
whole lot of difference. And it really does vary
from place to place. But what you find as
a universal truth is that there is a lot
of societal animus directed at people
who are perceived not to be part of the majority,
part of the mainstream. And so looking both policy-wise
and programmatically at promoting tolerance,
promoting mutual respect, getting at young
people in societies where you see either
deeply-entrenched longstanding hostilities or frankly,
government policies that may create
additional hostilities for people that maybe
did not appear the case in a previous generation. The third feature which
I would just mentioned briefly is the rise
of non-state actors, organized terrorist
movements that control large
swaths of territory like you’ve seen with Boko
Haram in Northern Africa, like you’ve seen with ISIS,
the Taliban, and others. And these are some of the
stickiest situations for us because oftentimes these are
religiously-motivated groups that are intent on
forms of repression against all people who
deviate from their ideologies. So the tools in the
toolbox may be more limited beyond kind of the military
tools of getting bad people out of places, but still,
figuring out ways to address the situation of
religious minorities or people who deviate from violent
extremist ideology in places where violent extremists
have actually taken over is another feature of what
we’re trying to work on, what we’re thinking about. So I’ll stop there, but look
forward to the questions. MS. LYNN SICADE: Thank you, Dan. Good morning. I’m Lynn Sicade. I’m the Director of the Office
of Multilateral and Global Affairs in the
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. My office handles a very
wide array of policy issues. I’m going to
describe all of them and then really bear down
on disability rights, LGBT rights, and
internet freedom. So my office is the policy lead
on civil society, democracy, vulnerable groups,
internet freedom, business and human rights, human
rights of the United Nations, visa issuance and human rights,
asylum, anti-corruption– I’m almost done–
and Global Magnitsky. Through all of those
areas, we really try to focus in on the ability
of civil society actors to effect change and
advocate on their own behalf in their own countries at the
UN and in multi-stakeholder and multinational venues. We also work through a
number of multi-stakeholder, multilateral, and
multinational venues. That’s again a
long alphabet list. You probably know some of them– the Freedom Online Coalition,
the Open Government Partnership. I did say the United Nations– the Voluntary Principles on
Security and Human Rights, which is a business and human
rights multi-stakeholder initiative; ICoCA, which deals
with the hiring of security professionals. I know there are some
others that I’m missing, but you probably
know what they are. To gear down a little bit
more, we’ve also led in the UN on the issues of freedom of
association and assembly, freedom of expression. And we’ve had strong support
for human rights defenders. There, for example, we
know a number of people want to come to the UN
to tell their stories and convince people
of what’s happening in their countries, which is
harder than it sounds when you’re sitting in front
of a group of countries, not all of whom
respect human rights, not all of whom believe
in fundamental freedoms. In cases where individuals
are being shut down in the UN, we try to stand up for
them and try to make sure that they’re heard. We work with the Office of the
High Commissioner for Human Rights if folks have been
abused on their way home to try to make sure that
there’s some way to deal with that particular situation. So we work with the Office of
the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the High
Commissioner for Human Rights. We interact with special
repertoires of the UN When it’s appropriate to talk to
them about various issues that are confronting people. More specifically on
disability rights, we work for inclusion
of disability rights in key foreign policy areas. Those include worker rights,
religious freedom, child labor, gender-based violence, the human
rights of LGBTI individuals, trafficking in
persons, and refugees. We also work to integrate
disability rights within diplomacy
that we are doing. So the best examples of those
of late would be the APEC Group of Friends on Disability,
where we’ve been quite active, and the U.S.-China Coordination
Meeting on Disability Rights. On the human rights
of LGBTI persons, our first and foremost goal is
to address violence and reduce violence and discrimination. So we prioritize
targeted violence against the LGBTI community
in contexts like Chechnya in particular. And we’re tracking very
closely and concerned right now about the arrest and detentions
that we see in Egypt, Azerbaijan, and Indonesia. In this respect, we
deploy a variety of tools. We work with civil society
primarily on LGBTI issues so that we make sure
that whatever we’re doing in country, whether
it’s public diplomacy or private diplomacy, various
other kinds of pressure the U.S. can bring to bear,
that it’s in line with what people on the ground
are wanting us to do and that it is first
and foremost not harming their efforts in any way. LGBTI in this
respect is probably amongst one of the
most sensitive issues that we deal with
in the department. And so we have first and
foremost as a principle to do no harm to
people on the ground through the various diplomatic
activities that we’re pursuing. We are also very cognizant of
the diversity in the community and in particular, try
to pay close attention to the needs of the
transgender community and to the needs of lesbian
women, which are sometimes somewhat different
than the G and the B. In internet freedom, we’re
guided by the principle that people have the same rights
online as they have offline. We worked to ensure that
the internet remains open, interoperable, and
secure as a platform, and it’s a platform
on which people can continue to innovate,
to organize, to express themselves, and to be free
from undue interference and censorship. So our policy is to try to
build international consensus around the importance of
promoting and protecting human rights online. For that, we use the
United Nations primarily and the Freedom Online
Coalition and a number of bilateral engagements. We are also very concerned
about digital safety and policy advocacy and technology and
applied research, all of which help the global internet
users overcome barriers to access in an open internet. We support the free
flow of information online for a number of
reasons, some of which have to do with enhancing
trade and economic prosperity, but mostly because of
our promotion of freedom of expression, freedom
of association, freedom of assembly. There are a number
of programs that are connected with
internet freedom having to do with helping
people have access and helping people understand
what digital safety is. I could go on a lot longer with
the topics that my office has, but I’m not going to. I’ll pass it to Steve Moody. MR. STEVE MOODY:
I was just going to say I used to be
in Lynn’s office, and I currently have a
mercifully smaller mandate for my office than Lynn does. And just listening
to her reminds me of just how many
things she’s doing. First off, I want to say
thank you to GP for having us together. The GP office, I am convinced
and I think other people in DRL are convinced, does some
of the most important work in this building. And as you may or
may not hear today, often folks outside the building
and in the wider community cannot hear about the
extent of that work. But it’s great to be
kind of here talking to folks who are either
interested in working with DRL or already are working with DRL. I’ve been in the Bureau
coming up on a decade myself. Some of my other colleagues
have been here longer than that. And I like to think
that we are all doing this work because we do
feel like it’s very valuable. It’s relevant. And regardless of who’s
in charge or whatever, people need to be
helped in the field. So thank you again
for having me. My office is a smaller office. I did have a titular head
kind of like the Ambassador to Religious Freedom
that Dan has. My titular head may not be
coming back into position, so to speak. We used to have a
Special Representative for International Labor
Affairs who typically has come from the labor community. That person is
probably not going to be with us moving forward. But we work on labor rights. And like I said,
it’s a lot simpler than what Lynn had outlined. And when we think
about labor rights, we talk about the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. What are we talking about? We’re talking about when we
look at those documents– and I am really trying
to dodge this light up there while I talk to you. I’m sorry– freedom of assembly,
freedom of association, right? Basically 50 years ago
when the main architecture of human rights was put together
in some of those documents, they talked about those
freedoms along with some of the other ones
that Dan mentioned. Those are kind of the bedrock
of what we try and advance in our office. Within that, there
are four or five kind of core ones, core
areas in which we work in actually the greater
global labor community. You all are probably familiar
with our human rights reports, which come out each
year and are usually released, if we’re on time,
February or March. If you look at section
7 of that report, you’ll see four or
five different areas. You will see collective
bargaining and freedom of association. You will see compulsory labor,
child labor, discrimination, and acceptable
conditions of work. When the United
States government and other governments
talked about the work we do in this area,
generally it’s going to be in one of
those four or five areas. Let me just talk about
four or five of the places where we’re doing
some of our work that may be of interest to you. And obviously, we can have
more of a conversation moving forward. First and foremost
is worker voice. And one of the things working
with Lynn and her office– and a lot of us who work
in civil society have seen and Freedom House has
documented– last 12, 13 years around the world, we
have seen a constraining of the voice and the
opportunity for expression for civil society actors,
whether they’re members of an organization or a union. One of the things that we do
is we try and build capacity of unions and other associations
so the workers in whatever country can assert their
rights or even just be familiar with the basics of
what they are entitled to assert and how to move that forward,
either with the government or with other stakeholders. So I’d say that’s one
of the primary ones. Migrant workers, I was
just in Qatar and Bahrain last week actually
on this issue. My first time in the Middle
East was pretty fascinating. And part of the reason I was
there is because as folks know, there is a large
corridor of labor that goes from South Central
Asia up to the Gulf, and we’re increasingly
seeing it also from Africa, to that region of the world. I think there is a growing
recognition about migration at large that policymakers
have a lot that they need to be responsible for. And one of the things that
our office tries to engage in is work with civil society
and also governments to make sure that these
workers, even if they are migrant laborers, are
fully entitled to the freedoms that any other worker
would be entitled to. And it was interesting. Last week, there was an
article in The Washington Post about some of the
MacArthur Genius Award winners. Some of you folks may
have read about it. And they said the one theme
that cut across all of it was global migration
issues, right? So this is really– there
are a lot of manifestations of this issue, but it
was fascinating to talk the Qataris and the
Bahrainis about what their departments of labor
are trying to do in this area. Trade, a pretty obvious one– you’ve probably heard that
we’re in the middle of NAFTA negotiations right now. NAFTA, free trade
agreements, generalized system of preferences, we work
with other parts of the USG. We work with civil
society to try and hold the recipient countries
or beneficiary countries accountable
for the labor provisions in those trade agreements. We are at a unique
opportunity where some folks may know that the President
Trump, in outlining his national security policy,
almost explicitly says we’d like to see trade
work better on behalf of the American worker. So there may be
some opportunities to hold some countries
more accountable to some of those provisions under
the aegis of leveling things for the American
worker and making sure that companies abroad
or governments abroad can’t cut corners. Just a few more things– businesses, we also will
work with Lynn’s office a lot on issues related to
business and human rights. Supply chain– the awareness
of the supply chain has become a huge, huge deal in
the international conversation with business and labor rights. I think we’re still
wrestling with how we can get our arms around
that, but that’s definitely a place moving forward where
I can see us do some more programming because
it involves workers at different parts of the
process, the responsibilities of business. And on the responsibilities
of business with whom we work a lot, one of
the promising things– and this is connected to the
migrant laborers– has been that we’ve had
some good conversations and good progress with
business realizing that in some of those
migrant worker scenarios, they’re realizing that
they should not be saddling those workers with the costs
that go with their visa fees and their interview fees. So once they arrive
in Qatar or wherever else it is for
destination country, they’re basically
indentured to that company. Two more things I would
mention, the ILO– the ILO to many people, even
if they do labor rights, it can sometimes
kind of be like, yeah, ILO, I know that
thing’s out there. What is it? It can kind of be a
sleepy institution. Coming up on its 100th
birthday in Geneva, we work with our Department
of Labor colleagues and other folks
in the community, going there several
times a year. And it really kind
of is an indicator of what are the current
ongoing conversations in the international
labor rights community. So the last few years,
we’ve had long conversations on supply chain, this
year on labor migration, and next year, we’ll be
having one on gender. Last thing that I would just
mention before we pass it to Kat is our
office specifically tries to reach out and give
resources to our folks at post. You all have interacted with
embassies around the world, likely, or your colleagues have. And you know that every
embassy looks different. You might have a whole bunch of
folks, a small number of folks. One of the things
we really try and do are give resources
to our folks at post. And we do a training here at
the Foreign Service Institute. And often we have
NGO partners come in and talk about their
viewpoint of things. That’s it. Thanks, Kat. MS. KATRINA FOTOVAT: OK,
can everyone hear me? All right, good morning. I am so thrilled to see you all. Every time I come to [INAUDIBLE]
conference or any conference where there’s a bunch of
human rights-oriented people, I feel like I’m with my people. So so good to see you all. Sincere thanks to my DRL family
who I can’t seem to escape or I kind of drag
myself back into. So thanks to Claire and Pat
and the rest of the DRL GP family, especially [INAUDIBLE]
who killed themselves for this, so many thanks to them. And we look forward to working
with you all in the future. So I’m Kat Fotovat. I am the Director of
Global Programming for the Office of
Global Women’s Issues here at the State Department. Our office is charged
with promoting gender equality and
gender inclusion across the Department of State. We do this in various ways. In particular, we try to use
our very small but mighty budget and team to make sure that your
voices and the voices of women all over the world are
included throughout any kind of diplomatic engagement
and throughout any foreign assistance programming. So we are, as you can
tell, those people that are constantly
in everyone’s faces, making sure that the women’s
voices and the people on the ground are
actually being heard. Again, we make sure that we
use our very small budget to build the capacity of
organizations and posts to empower women and
girls all over the world. In addition to the
programming outcomes, we’re looking for
lessons learned and how are those applied,
not just within our program, but we share this information
with international donors across the board. There have been a lot
of both private sector, foundational, other governments
that have really stepped up to step into the
gender space, and we want to make sure that we’re
sharing those lessons learned across the board. We’re making a lot of important
progress from our work boosting embassies’
efforts on gender throughout the Full
Participation Fund, which is an effort that we
run, and promoting women’s agency in
conflict countries through our Global Women Peace
and Security Initiative and CVE efforts. Our enhanced efforts help to
address GBV and meet the needs of adolescent girls and women. Our office these days has
been utilized to strategically propel our work forward. So the awareness of the
significant impact of gender inclusion in all areas reaching
every sector from the economy to security to stabilization
and development, the world is realizing that
change cannot happen without women and girls being included. Additionally, technology
and new areas of innovation are something that we’re
looking at programmatically. Technology is opening
new areas where women can engage safely and
securely, both in the economy and throughout other
political areas. So we want to make
sure that we’re building on those as well. We’re looking for more
innovative approaches, which includes not just looking
at gender organizations. How can a legal organization
have a gender lens on it, so making sure that those
kind of scopes are brought in. So we’re looking at
things holistically. What impacts women and girls
does not happen in a vacuum. This is an entire broad
spectrum of issues. So we’re making sure to address
that in the smartest way to make sure that we bring
together partnerships. So another area that our
office is emphasizing is the aspect of bringing
partnerships together. Having had an NGO myself, I
know that forced marriages and working with
other organizations is not always easy, but
certainly, a lot of lessons learned. And often, we have
found that those can be the most successful
and sustainable organizations and sustainable projects. We’ve seen amazing
things happen when people bring in
different aspects and different organizations
to bear to their work. I’m thinking in particular of
a forensics organization that has done some
amazing work bringing in gender organizations
to their work as well. And so we have
seen and our office is focusing on making sure
that the private sector is pulled in. We work on four major areas. So the areas of
concentration for our office are women, peace, and
security, including countering violent extremism;
adolescent girls, particularly focusing on areas where
there are gaps that are not being addressed for girls. So we’re looking at the whole
of life for women and girls, but in particular what we found
is that the area of adolescence is some place that is
not being addressed. We also look at women’s economic
and political empowerment. The Administration has
been very, very forthcoming in terms of the emphasis on
women’s economic empowerment. So the area that
we’re focusing on in women’s economic empowerment
again is very broad, and how do all these
aspects all feed into that? The emphasis there is also
making the business case to companies, to countries, to
make them understand without women’s participation,
your economies cannot grow, that there is a vast area of
constituency and beneficiaries that you can look to
have as new individuals for your businesses. So how– this can exponentially
increase your GDP. The global GDP would be
increased something– they said about $4 trillion
if women were fully participating in them. So we try to make
these cases as well and make sure that those
cases are actually what– behavioral change is
actually take place. The other area that
we concentrate on is preventing and countering
gender-based violence. And that includes everything
from early forced marriage to female genital mutilation,
getting into the issues having to do with societal
change and looking at networks. And one of the areas
that we’ve noticed in any country, a
lot of closed spaces, is that women’s
organizations have been very good at networking. They’re very good at discussing
things, coming together. We’re trying to utilize that
movement across the board and make sure that they also
can communicate regionally, that they can
communicate globally, and that they can include other
marginalized populations as well and share their
experiences and their strengths. And so we’re trying to make sure
to capitalize that and build upon that going forward. I won’t talk too
much longer, but so we’re looking also
at making sure that our international donors– and that we have a whole
of government approach. So we work with DoD. We work with USAID. Obviously we work
very closely with DRL. And so we’ve made sure that we
are coordinating these efforts as much as possible. I also wanted to
point out we are taking a very consultative
approach in how we are doing our programming. So we want to hear
from activists, from women on the ground, from
the beneficiaries that we’re hoping to reach. We are actually putting
together a listening session coming up on October 25. And there are flyers
out there if anybody would like to participate. They will be
thematically-focused sessions that we’d like to hear,
again, not just from gender organizations, but
they will be broken up into gender-based violence;
women’s economic empowerment; women, peace, and
security; and making sure– and adolescent girls. So we want to hear from you. We actually want you
to give us feedback on how those programs and
how our solicitations work. We want to hear what, you know– again, we don’t know everything. So we want to make sure that
we are being responsive to you. Everything from
M&E– we don’t take M&E to be for just the donor. M&E needs to be for
the organization. How are you utilizing
M&E to make sure that that M&E is being fed
back into your own organization and your constituencies
and your beneficiaries? Anything from
financial management– financial management
again is about you working in close societies
and protecting you, so whatever we can
do to make sure those resources
come to bear for you and that we are giving you
the tools that you need. So these are the kind of things
that we want to hear from you, as well as awareness of
the issues on the ground. So there’s flyers
out there if anybody would like to participate. It’s on October 25, and
please give us feedback. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you so much
for all your efforts. You really are heroes. I hope you hear this every day. I am sometimes jealous of the
implementers because I’m like, I want to do that. So please know that anything
that you want to share with us, we are happy to hear. And thanks to DRL. MS. SNEED: Thank you. We’d like to invite
you to ask questions. As you know, the mics
are on either far side of the auditorium. You can line up. And please introduce yourself
and/or your organization. AUDIENCE: Hi, Jessie again from
the Handa Center at Stanford. Thank you all for your remarks. My question comes off of
both Cobb and Kat’s points about data and
M&E. I’m wondering if anyone can offer some insight
into how DRL might be thinking about supporting
enhanced data collection capacities amongst
human rights NGOs. Some research I’ve been
doing in Southeast Asia really points to sort
of a lack of tapping into local resources
in a lot of these areas because obviously, NGOs
can’t always pay these folks that well. And so anyone who does have
sort of a lot of experience in good data analysis
is going to other firms. So I’m just wondering– I know you’ve historically
supported things like [INAUDIBLE] and
such technology– what you might be thinking
about in terms of enhanced data collection right now. Thanks. MS. SNEED: Anyone? MS. FOTOVAT: I can– I’ll tell you from the
gender perspective. There’s so little
information out there from everything from GBV to
women’s economic empowerment. So within the programs that
we’re looking at– for example, we have a partnership with Kiva. And there is a public-funding
platform within that. And it’s very localized in
how some of these microgrants go out. But as we are doing any kind
of microloans or anything of that nature, we are
gathering information. At the same time, our hope is
to make as much information public as possible. I say that with the
caveat of often where we work and issues that we
work on are very sensitive. So to the extent that we can
protect people’s privacy, not victimize anyone,
we want to make sure that this is a discussion
that happens broader and that we’re, again, looking
at things from a more thematic, analytical perspective. So all of our
projects are intended to bring in that information
and to then feed that back out. MS. SICADE: I can say
from MLGA’s perspective, data, particularly on
individuals with disabilities and the LGBTI community, can
be extremely hard to come by. I mean, these are probably some
of the most hidden populations within several different
kinds of countries. So we would actually
appreciate a data approach and as much data as we could
get with the same caveats that Kat has. MR. BLAHA: Let me offer a
slightly different perspective on M&E. I mentioned
in my presentation that one of the
things that we do is, the Office of
Security and Human Rights, is we offer human
rights perspective on the Department
of Defense training for foreign military forces. Under the new NDAA, the
National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, the
Defense Department is charged with improving their
measurement and evaluation of their training
programs, and specifically of their human rights
training programs. And there are DoD organizations
and lots of other ones out there doing human rights
trainings of security forces. If you ask them how are we
doing on human rights training, they will say, great. Here’s how many people
we trained last year. There is no M&E that we can
find of what types of training is effective or not. We have no M&E.
It’s very difficult. I haven’t been able, since
I’ve been in my office, to find out– to track what happens to
units of foreign police, of foreign military, or foreign
counterterrorism forces, what happens to them
after they get training. And the types of things that
would be helpful to us is to have a time-longitudinal
study of the numbers of human rights– the allegations of
human rights violations against security
forces over time. That would be very helpful– also, whether anybody is
being tried for any of these Those types of things
would be helpful. The other things
that are helpful are some tracking of the
attitudes of local populations toward security forces because
one of the things we know, one of the things I
said when I first spoke, is that security forces
that respect human rights and are accountable
are successful. Well, the reasons
they are successful is because they win the
confidence of the population, right? That’s how you counter
violent extremism from a security point of view. That’s how you
counter insurgencies. That’s how you fight organized
crime, transnational crime. So to the extent that we
had those types of data, that would be incredibly
helpful to us. Maybe some of that is out
there in some countries, but we haven’t been
able to find anybody who’s doing it on a regularized
or exhaustive basis. And so that would– what I would suggest
is looking at units in countries that have received
U.S. training and being able to trace their
human rights history. That would be very helpful. MS. SNEED: Great. Next question. AUDIENCE: I’m [INAUDIBLE]
with Democracy Council. Could you please talk about
whether there is any interest to target a much younger
demographics when it comes to some of the human
rights challenges that require a
bottom-up solution? Very specifically, when
you have to build tolerance in the society on religious
freedom or LGBTI issues or women’s rights, you need
to start from a young age and have much longer programs. We see that missing in
most of the solicitations that we actually target. MR. NADEL: I can start. Certainly I think
for the kind of work that we’re trying to do to build
mutual respect and tolerance, a lot of that work
is generational. And you really do have to
start with younger generations. I know on the religious
freedom front, we have solicitations
periodically for things like curriculum
development, curriculum focused on particularly promoting
visions of more tolerant, more inclusive societies. We do other youth-focused
work, getting young people across religious, ethnic,
ethnolinguistic lines to come together to see
that members of minorities can be partners
in trying to build the exact same kind of society
that members of the majority community want to build. So for us, certainly looking
at the younger demographics and figuring out where
they are, getting at them before they become the next
generation of government leaders is absolutely
critical and actually changing the dynamics of that
society towards a more tolerant approach. So yes, I think– I can’t speak for
the other baskets, but certainly youth
plays a very large role in the types of program
work that we would do on the religious freedom side. MS. SICADE: OK,
so on LGBTI, I can say that there is some
youth programming. It’s primarily done,
I believe, from USAID. But I believe that we do have
a couple of programs ourselves. For my office focused
on the policy work, one of the things that we
look to do on LGBTI first and foremost is deal
with violence and deal with laws that outlaw
people at the outset– 76 countries have such laws– that for us, from the
policy perspective, this is the first
thing that we need to try to tackle and change. MS. FOTOVAT: And I would
say from the gender– that’s a great question. We actually target
youth quite frequently and making sure that, again,
targeting adolescent girls is not just enough. Men and boys have to
be brought into it. We’re talking about
societal change. You’re talking about making
sure movements are built, and that cannot happen without
men and boys being engaged. And we’re targeting
boys at a very young age to understand cycles of
violence and making sure that they are inclusive
and making sure that women are supported
and girls are supported. And talking about things
in a different dynamic starts at a very young age. So your point is well
taken and something that we try to make sure
is considered within all of our proposals as well. MS. SNEED: And just to
reiterate, in the last session, it was– I think Pat mentioned that many
of our proposals across all of these different
themes have sort of a youth or vulnerable
population or most vulnerable population
target or component to them. So even if youth
isn’t explicitly the focus of the
request for proposals, youth as a critical
vulnerable population within those
contexts is something that can be brought out
in your applications. Sir? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]
from Friends of Angola. I’m just a little bit
concerned about data on freedom of expression,
freedom of assembly, or human rights
overall, even democracy. There’s a sharp decline of those
values throughout the world. But I cannot speak
for the entire world. But I can only speak
where I come from, Angola, or maybe for the
entire continent because I do speak with a number
of activists, human rights activists, and NGO workers
as well within the continent. So it seems to me– and please, I hope I’m wrong. There’s this perception that
the new administration trying to embrace more the
Chinese approach, is we’re going to do
business as usual, but we want to ask questions
about human rights issue. So if that’s the case, then
there might be really– we’re in trouble, I think. And I mean, what else can
we do to reverse this trend? The Freedom House
data is very clear when it comes to decline
of those basic values. I was just wondering if
you could clarify some of those concerns that we have. Thank you. MS. SICADE: Sure. You’re right. There is a trend, of course. We are trying to combat those
headwinds in a number of ways by supporting civil society. I do want to address
the issue of perceptions of this Administration. So my office also does
Community of Democracies, and we just had a ministerial
in which the Secretary spoke about the importance
of democracy promotion, how it is tied intricately
to U.S. foreign policy and to American
values going forward. So I think there’s a
lot of chaff out there about what this Administration
is or isn’t going to do, what they’re going to
say or not going to say, but it’s a lot of chaff. And if you take a look
at what our position has been with respect
to Venezuela, it’s very clear that we still have
a strong human rights message. If you take a look at
what we have been doing at the Human Rights Council– and I would encourage you
to actually look at what U.S. interventions have been. You’ll find that we
haven’t changed how we’re talking about human rights. We haven’t changed how we’re
talking about civil society. We haven’t changed how we’re
talking about democracy. And the Administration,
you know, is still getting a little bit
of its feet under the ground. We still don’t have an
Assistant Secretary in DRL. But I wouldn’t pay
too much attention to the chaff that
you’re seeing out there and the, you know,
this Administration is going to do horrible things. And I just don’t see
that happening, at least not from our level in MLGA. MR. BLAHA: What I would say with
regard to what my office does– so I said that we’re the
implementer, the Chief State Department implementer,
for the Leahy Law. And it’s the law. So and it has very
strong support on both sides of the aisle. The Leahy Law will not change. That is my prediction. And we will still be prohibited
from giving assistance to security forces
or counterterrorism forces, military police
who commit gross violations of human rights. And we still need your help. We need responsible civil
society organizations out there, taking
complaints and documenting abuses in an organized fashion. We need good
independent journalists. We need civil society
that understands the structure and the
function and the personnel of the military,
the police forces, and the counterterrorism
forces so they can provide effective oversight
and effective reporting. And I predict that
will not change. So my message to you
is, be of good cheer and go about your
work and do the types of things that will
help civil society be an effective counterweight
to these security forces that are so powerful in so
many parts of the world. MR. MOODY: I was just
going to add two things. To tack on what Lynn said, I
was at the International Labor Organization International
Labor Conference in June where we had a bunch of
country-specific engagements. In talking to my colleague
who’d been doing this for a long time,
there really was little if no difference
at all about the things that we were highlighting in
our engagements about Cambodia, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, lack
of freedoms in those countries and speaking out
on those things. And the other thing I
would just return to is one can never predict the future,
but the Human Rights Report has been with us
for a long time. And I expect it to continue
to be with us for a long time. And we know that a lot
of the strength of that is not only how we
use that at posts and engaging with
the governments. But the strength of
that human rights report itself is often
on the backs of the work that civil society,
folks like yourselves, are doing in those countries
and getting us some of this data that
has been discussed. So in addition to– along with the,
be of good cheer, I would just say that is going
to continue to be a tool that I know we’re going to
depend on and that we are going to use
diplomatically moving forward. MS. SNEED: Questions? I think we’re on this side. AUDIENCE: Good morning, Camille
Jagueneau-Siegel from Financial Services Volunteer Corps. Pretty much all of you
mentioned working with CSOs, and I was wondering
if you’re planning on doing any work with CSOs on
budget monitoring and budget advocacy with governments. And if so, which
one of your bureaus would be more likely
to do such work? MR. MOODY: It’s got to be
you since it’s none of us. MS. SICADE: My colleague
here whispering to me, it’s got to be you
since it’s none of us. To the extent that
we do any of that, it’s really through
OJP work that we’re doing and work
with a support unit in the countries that submit
themselves for peer review. I suspect that we may have
programs to that extent, but I don’t know, to be honest. Maybe Claire does. [INAUDIBLE] MS. SNEED: Sorry? MS. FOTOVAT: I can say from
the gender perspective, we would be looking at the
role of women in government who might have
influence over budgets and how that is
impacting those budgets and where those are going. So we do have some
programs that focus on that in more of the
political participation realm. MS. SNEED: I would
just add I can’t answer your question specifically. I don’t think we have or do. Pat? MS. PATRICIA DAVIS: Not
specific on budget monitoring. MS. SNEED: Not on
budget monitoring, but our programs generally and
sort of the ethos of the Global Programming Office–
this doesn’t quite get at your question, but
it gets for broad– MS. DAVIS: It would be
more accountability. MS. SNEED: Right,
accountability. We do work very closely with and
support civil society capacity building to do that kind of
advocacy in those countries. So I don’t think it’s outside
the realm of possibility to do that kind of programming. MS. FOTOVAT: And a lot of
that is very USAID kind of governance-focused. And they do a lot of that. We do all coordinate with
them quite frequently. So some of that is actually
dealt with on that level. MS. SNEED: Yes. AUDIENCE: Karen Riley
from [INAUDIBLE].. Usability is often
an afterthought in the design of
technologies that enable safe access
to the open internet despite censorship
and surveillance. What efforts exist to ensure
that disabled activists have the same access to these
tools, that these tools work with accessibility tools? Will there be funding so
that all projects that create technology can hire
usability engineers so that nothing about us
without us is actually played out in our work? MS. SICADE: Thank you. And again, this is more of a
program question than a policy question. So I’ll do my best,
but I may actually need to look at some
of my colleagues. I know that we do stress
in our solicitations that there be access
and that there be inclusion basically
of disabled persons and their needs. That’s about as
detailed as I can get. But it’s really more of a
question for my colleagues on the program side. MS. FOTOVAT: And there actually
was a project that actually did have a whole
inclusive approach and made sure that
there was accessibility. The DRL just did
a project on that. I think it was last
year or the year before. And so there is
actually an effort out there to make sure that
accessibility is built into the programs as well. So that project looked
across the board at what areas persons with
disabilities needed access and where they could build that
in in terms of the human rights portfolio and tools
that were available. MS. SNEED: Great. AUDIENCE: Good morning,
Alison [INAUDIBLE],, and I work with the Latin
American team at Freedom House. From our perspective,
obviously the two countries that are concerning
are Venezuela and Cuba, but beyond that, we are
concerning in terms of violence against women in
Central America. And especially, we are
concerned in terms of violence against transgender women
in the Northern Triangle. Very often, violence come from
gangs, but also from police. So I would like to know what
is your opinion on these and what is your main concern
in terms of the Latin American region. MS. FOTOVAT: Do you want
me to take this one? So I agree with you. Yeah, so we work very
closely with our Bureau of International Narcotics
and Law Enforcement, and we have several
programs that focus in on making sure
that we’re empowering women organizations, making
sure that we’re training police officers to be
able to address those issues. And so we partner very
closely with them. Our focus has been
thus far not just in reporting, but
training, but also being able to have services provided,
so addressing and mapping where those services are available
for women, but also from a diplomatic
perspective, making sure that those women’s issues and
the violence against women are brought up quite frequently
within the Northern Triangle. Additionally, there’s a
large focus programmatically that we just had
last year go through. Our Western Hemisphere
Affairs Office put quite a large sum
of money towards issues which included gender
issues, and that was built into much of that. Again, coming from an
approach that’s very holistic, a lot of it was also
targeted towards women’s economic empowerment
and making sure that gender rights are
included across the board. So again, looking at it from
a very broad perspective, we’re looking at
partnerships and making sure that we build that in. MR. MOODY: And I
was just going to– I didn’t mean to grab
that so strongly. I was just going to say
too that we have done some, as we wrestle for the mic,
some labor violence programs in the Triangle area too, right? And I also– I used to
cover Latin America. I covered Venezuela,
which of course is not part of the Triangle area. I think there’s just a
general overall violence challenge in that
region, right, which you know if you cover the region. So a lot of times the way we
get at it programmatically is through these
different slivers of either gender or labor. But we have done
definitely some, I’d say, substantial work
in the Triangle itself and labor violence. MS. SICADE: So on
LGBTI, we have tried to incorporate into training for
law enforcement and awareness of LGBTI issues and, in
particular, the T issues. We’ve probably done the most
work on that in Honduras. MS. SNEED: And I would
just note that we have global
statements of interest out right now on LGBTI and
intersectional issues that might address some
of those issues. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]
from Madre. I have a couple
of questions, one in terms of what are your
priorities or plans in terms of funding or policy support
for LGBT individuals in Iraq as they continue– as you know, they continue
to face extreme risk. And the other thing is as
a member of the NGO working group on world
peace and security, we’re seeing a very alarming
trend of either downgrading or cutting of
gender-related positions within several UN
peacekeeping missions. So we were wondering if
you had any engagement with the peacekeeping
department on the issue. Thank you. MS. FOTOVAT: Yes, we
have been engaging with the different
international organizations and specifically addressing
peacekeeping organization and pushing to make sure that
gender inclusion is included, but not just those gender
positions but across the board training to make sure that the
gender lens is actually applied towards peacekeeping
missions and the feedback is coming in in terms
of what kind of data is coming in as
well so that those are evaluated in terms of what
they’re doing on the ground. So there has been a lot of
engagement on that, but noted, across the board, funding
is being cut left and right. So we recognize people
have to make cuts, and we’re hoping that the
gender portfolios are not what is actually targeted. So certainly, there
is a strong effort to make sure that
that is emphasized. And I would say the
Administration has been very supportive of making
sure that gender is something that is a priority. MS. SICADE: And in Iraq, we
do make it a policy priority– where did she go? There she is. We do make it a policy priority
to discuss LGBTI issues with the government. It’s a tough discussion,
as you can imagine. And that’s something
that will stay– we’ll keep doing. We’ll stay on it. MS. SNEED: Great. AUDIENCE: Hi. I’m Breanna Eskridge with
HelpAge International. A colleague earlier
asked about youth as a sort of area of focus. I’m also concerned about aging
as an area of focus and older people. It seems like there’s–
global aging is becoming more of an issue that people are
starting to pay attention to. But as a whole, there
aren’t usually a [INAUDIBLE] that come out that
focus on older people. So I’m wondering if that’s
a priority area or a focus that you’re looking at. MS. FOTOVAT: In terms
of gender issues, we’ve looked at making
sure that, again, we’re looking at the whole of women. And so that includes
gender-based violence in terms of aging, but not
necessarily anything focused primarily at aging
populations of women, but looking at pulling in women,
making sure they’re mentors and bringing in, just across
the board, the lifecycle of what is happening for women
and girls and [INAUDIBLE].. But I think that also
disability, addressing persons with disabilities would
probably be an area that that would come in as well. MS. SICADE: Yeah, I mean, I
can’t say that we actually have a specific focus on people
who are aging in my office as a policy priority,
but we do have a focus on fundamental
freedoms basically for everyone, which would
include the aging population. MS. SNEED: OK, thanks. AUDIENCE: Hi, Cynthia
Totten from Just Detention International. I’m wondering sexual abuse
in the context of detention settings and by law
enforcement and in other sort of similar settings, like
refugee settings, et cetera. How much of a concern is that,
so sexual abuse against women, youth, children, et cetera? MS. FOTOVAT: From the
gender perspective, it’s absolutely something
that we’re not just looking for data on but trying
to look at best practices on providing services, making
sure psychosocial support is built into all
of our programs. So when we’re
looking on something that has to do with
rehabilitation, reintegration, making sure that
psychosocial support is built into that, not just
for the beneficiaries but for the implementers. You guys work on some
really, really hard things. So we want to make
sure that when you’re dealing with
very difficult issues that that is actually
something that’s also built into your programs. So across the board,
absolutely, especially in areas of conflict. So when we’re talking about
women, peace, and security or countering violent
extremism, these are areas where that
particular concern and target– and making sure that
your budgets reflect that is very important. So yes, for us, it’s absolutely
a consideration and something that we hope is built into
areas of conflict programming. MR. BLAHA: When it
comes to sexual abuse by security forces, it’s
something we focus on. So we look at gross
violations of human rights, and one of the big four
is rape, especially rape under color of law,
rape as a weapon of war. You mentioned sexual abuse
in detention centers. What we need is reporting on it. Now, reporting on it, I mean,
is difficult for all the reasons that reporting on sexual
abuse is difficult. But if it’s in a
detention center, if we can get the date, a
named victim, and the detention center, then we know
who’s responsible and we can make sure that that
detention center is cut off. The other thing is if you’re
talking about in conflict zones, same thing. What we’re seeing
more and more– what we’re seeing– you probably
know it better than we– is that this does get
used as a weapon of war. And so if it’s happening
in a conflict zone, again, the more details
we can get, the better, because many times,
our embassies know if there is an allegation
of sexual assault by security forces in a zone,
we can figure out what unit of the security forces
was deployed to that zone. And again, we can figure out
who’s responsible for it. So that’s one of
the four things that generally fall in the baskets of
the types of abuses we look at. One is rape under
color of law, rape as a weapon of war,
extrajudicial killings, torture, and forced
disappearances. MR. MOODY: And I was
just going to say I had mentioned
earlier that they have these long conversations
at the ILO yearly and that the one
coming up next June is on gender-based violence. And right now, there
has been a collection I think of data from
over 70 countries looking at things ranging
from separate buses for women laborers in certain countries
so there’s no harassment or anything worse than that. That is something
certainly we’re going to be on the lookout for,
and there may be opportunities for our office to engage on it. MS. SNEED: Quickly too, that
the Global Programming Office has a transitional justice
and conflict prevention and accountability team and
the congressional earmark for those kinds of issues. So I encourage you to find
our staff members who work on those issues specifically. We have about five minutes left. So if you could ask your
question succinctly, we will try to answer
them succinctly. Thank you. MS. FOTOVAT: Hi, my name is
Amanda Miller, and I’m here. I’m representing
Save the Children. My issue is– or my
question, rather, I’m curious about hearing
about cross-thematic issues such as human trafficking,
where at face value it can be something that is
heavily focused on gender where then it also involves
law enforcement agencies and training up law
enforcement organizations and ensuring that
there are no violations of human rights on that front. And they can often across
international borders. So I’m curious to hear
how DRL works together and across thematic regards. So do you all consult each other
on your respective policies and focuses before you issue
solicitations on these issues? Or also, do you even
cross departments? Such as, like, BPRM will
focus on trafficking and gender-based
violence for refugees. So how does that
collaboration process work? MR. MOODY: So we do have
a trafficking and persons office, right, which typically
does have an ambassador and probably will
have one again. There are a lot of
experts in that office. And obviously, they
also produce a report once a year, which I
actually think probably still includes the Child
Soldiers Protection Act list in that each year. We work closely with them. And as a matter of
fact, on my recent trip to Qatar and
Bahrain last week, I was with a colleague
from the TIP Office, and we went to one of the
shelters that has been set up in Qatar that was in response
to this complaint against Qatar at the ILO. One of the things
that was interesting was that political
will aside, certainly the establishment of that
shelter, which my colleague and TIP said was of
the highest quality, it seems like that
was certainly produced and has been able to move
forward bureaucratically because of the pressure
of the TIP report and also the complaint
against Qatar at the ILO. So that’s not a full answer
on exactly how we coordinate with them because
it’s a big office and they’ve got a
lot of expertise. But there’s definitely overlap
in working together and moving these issues forward. MS. FOTOVAT: There’s
only two minutes left, but just noting that the
TIP Office also has what they call a Senior
Policy Operating Group, which is mandated coordination. So I love the law. And the other part is
at both DRL and GBV, we run interagency
patent panels. So they all review,
and they’re able to see programs that might overlap
with other stakeholders. So that’s something– and
I use that work there, so I annoy them just
like I annoy DRL. MS. SNEED: It happens
as well at the design phase when we’re designing
a notification of funding opportunity. So there is certainly
internal DRL collab, you know, eyes on the concepts
and feedback and input, and then across the department
and across the U.S. government as well where it is merited. MS. FOTOVAT: I should give our
Foreign Assistance colleagues, our Office of Foreign
Assistance colleagues credit too because they also
coordinate on the front-end, making sure operational plans
are all coordinated as well. MS. SNEED: All right, we
have two more questions. I don’t know if we
can fit them both in, but if they’re very quick. OK. AUDIENCE: Hi, I’m
Candace Bryan Abbey with the Lantos Foundation. And my question is for Lynn. Given the disbursement
of internet freedom funds across so many different
agencies and offices, can you talk about
DRL’s priorities for internet freedom funding? And can you also talk
about whether or not there are any internal
goals for projects that fund direct access? MS. SICADE: So I can talk about
what our policy priorities are. And our policy priorities
are to maintain an open, interoperable,
safe, secure environment for the internet to promote
freedom of expression, to promote freedom of
association and assembly, and to do this through the
variety of diplomatic tools that we have. For the programming
part, I would refer you to my colleague
[INAUDIBLE] who’s here to talk a little bit more
about programming details. MS. SNEED: I’m very
sorry, sir, but we’re going to have to cut
it off because we only have 30 minutes for our
next panel before lunch. So I welcome you to come and
chat with us on the margins. I want to thank all
of our panelists for taking time out
of your busy schedules to come and speak with us. [APPLAUSE] MS. SICADE: I also want to
thank GP for this opportunity, and thank all of you for being
here and the work that you do. MS. SNEED: Great. Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE]

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