Foreign Aid And Human Rights (1976)

FOREIGN AID AND HUMAN RIGHTS (1976)

The civil rights movement of the 1960s led Americans to pay greater attention to human rights outside the United States. Watchdog groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Trans-Africa reported on violations of basic human rights not only in openly authoritarian countries but in supposedly democratic countries as well.

At the same time, post-Vietnam criticism of American foreign policy led to a questioning of the assumption that because a country claimed to be anti-communist, it should automatically receive American support and economic aid. Instead, the argument went, foreign aid ought to be given only to democratic regimes that respected individual rights. American policy overseas, according to these critics, had only been successful in the past when it had been tied to a strong moral stance. The notion that American “interests” could lead to support of dictatorships affronted them on both a pragmatic and a moral basis.

In 1976, Congress overrode a presidential veto to enact a human rights policy into the International Security and Arms Export Control Act. While some critics claimed the provision was more symbolic than anything else, symbols do, in fact, carry great weight in shaping public perceptions. The congressional message was that as a democracy, the United States was obligated to put into practice overseas the same principles it claimed to hold dear at home, that democracy was, in fact, indivisible.

For further reading: Samuel S. Kim, The Quest for a Just World Order (1984); Peter Brown and Douglas McLean, eds., Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy (1979); and Donald P. Kommers and Gilburt D. Loescher, eds., Human Rights and American Foreign Policy (1979).


FOREIGN AID AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Title III — General Limitations

Human Rights

Sec. 301. (a) Section 502B of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 502B. Human Rights. — (a) (1) It is the policy of the United States, in accordance with its international obligations as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and in keeping with the constitutional heritage and traditions of the United States, to promote and encourage increased respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. To this end, a principal goal of the foreign policy of the United States is to promote the increased observance of internationally recognized human rights by all countries.

(2) It is further the policy of the United States that, except under circumstances specified in this section, no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.

(3) In furtherance of the foregoing policy the President is directed to formulate and conduct international security assistance programs of the United States in a manner which will promote and advance human rights and avoid identification of the United States, through such programs, with governments which deny to their people internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, in violation of international law or in contravention of the policy of the United States as expressed in this section or otherwise.

(b) The Secretary of State shall transmit to the Congress, as part of the presentation materials for security assistance programs proposed for each fiscal year a full and complete report, prepared with the assistance of the Coordinator for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, with respect to practices regarding the observance of and respect for internationally recognized human rights in each country proposed as a recipient of security assistance. In determining whether a government falls within the provisions of subsection (a)(3) and in the preparation of any report or statement required under this section, consideration shall be given to –

(1) the relevant findings of appropriate international organizations, including nongovernmental organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross; and

(2) the extent of cooperation by such government in permitting an unimpeded investigation by any such organization of alleged violations of internationally recognized human rights.

(c) (1) Upon the request of the Senate or the House of Representatives by resolution of either such House, or upon the request of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate or the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of State shall, within thirty days after receipt of such request, transmit to both such committees a statement, prepared with the assistance of the Coordinator for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, with respect to the country designated in such request, setting forth –

(A) all the available information about observance of and respect for human rights and fundamental freedom in that country, and a detailed description of practices by the recipient government with respect thereto;

(B) the steps the United States has taken to –

(i) promote respect for and observance of human rights in that country and discourage any practices which are inimical to internationally recognized human rights, and

(ii) publicly or privately call attention to, and disassociate the United States and any security assistance provided for such country from, such practices;

(C) whether, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, notwithstanding any such practices –

(i) extraordinary circumstances exist which necessitate a continuation of security assistance for such country, and, if so, a description of such circumstances and the extent to which such assistance should be continued (subject to such conditions as Congress may impose under this section), and

(ii) on all the facts it is in the national interest of the United States to provide such assistance; and

(D) such other information as such committee or such House may request.

(2) (A) A resolution of request under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be considered in the Senate in accordance with the provisions of section 601(b) of the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976.

(B) The term ‘certification’, as used in section 601 of such Act, means, for the purposes of this subsection, a resolution of request of the Senate under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3) In the event a statement with respect to a country is requested pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection but is not transmitted in accordance therewith within thirty days after receipt of such request, no security assistance shall be delivered to such country except as may thereafter be specifically authorized by law from such country unless and until such statement is transmitted.

(4) (A) In the event a statement with respect to a country is transmitted under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Congress may at any time thereafter adopt a joint resolution terminating, restricting, or continuing security assistance for such country. In the event such a joint resolution is adopted, such assistance shall be so terminated, so restricted, or so continued, as the case may be.

(B) Any such resolution shall be considered in the Senate in accordance with the provisions of section 601(b) of the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976.

(C) The term ‘certification’, as used in section 601 of such Act, means, for the purposes of this paragraph, a statement transmitted under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(d) For the purposes of this section –

(1) the term ‘gross violations of internationally recognized human rights’ includes torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges and trial, and other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of person ….

(e) Section 624 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

(f) (1) There is established in the Department of State a Coordinator for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. The Coordinator shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. He shall be responsible to the Secretary of State for matters pertaining to human rights and humanitarian affairs (including matters relating to refugees, prisoners of war, and members of the United States Armed Forces missing in action) in the conduct of foreign policy. The Secretary of State shall carry out his responsibility under section 502B of this Act through the Coordinator for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs.

(2) The Coordinator for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs shall maintain continuous observation and review of all matters pertaining to human rights and humanitarian affairs (including matters relating to refugees, prisoners of war, and members of the United States Armed Forces missing in action) in the conduct of foreign policy including –

(A) gathering detailed information regarding humanitarian affairs and the observance of and respect for internationally recognized human rights in each country to which requirements of sections 116 and 502B of this Act are relevant;

(B) preparing the statements and reports to Congress required under section 502B of this Act;

(C) making recommendations to the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the Agency for International Development regarding compliance with sections 116 and 502B of this Act; and

(D) performing other responsibilities which serve to promote increased observance of internationally recognized human rights by all countries.

Sec. 302. (a) Section 505 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

(g) (1) It is the policy of the United States that no assistance under this chapter should be furnished to any foreign country, the laws, regulations, official policies, or governmental practices of which prevent any United States person …from participating in the furnishing of defense articles or defense services under this chapter on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or sex.

(2) (A) No agency performing functions under this chapter shall, in employing or assigning personnel to participate in the performance of any such function, whether in the United States or abroad, take into account the exclusionary policies or practices of any foreign government where such policies or practices are based upon race, religion, national origin, or sex.

(B) Each contract entered into by any such agency for the performance of any function under this chapter shall contain a provision to the effect that no person, partnership, corporation, or other entity performing functions pursuant to such contract, shall, in employing or assigning personnel to participate in the performance of any such function, whether in the United States or abroad, take into account the exclusionary policies or practices of any foreign government where such policies or practices are based upon race, religion, national origin, or sex.

(3) The President shall promptly transmit reports to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate concerning any transaction in which any United States person is prevented by a foreign government on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or sex, from participating in the furnishing of assistance under this chapter, or education and training under chapter 5, to any foreign country. Such reports shall include (A) a description of the facts and circumstances of any such discrimination, (B) the response thereto on the part of the United States or any agency or employee thereof, and (C) the result of such response, if any.

(4) (A) Upon the request of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate or the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives, the President shall, within 60 days after receipt of such request, transmit to both such committees a statement, prepared with the assistance of the Coordinator for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, with respect to the country designated in such request, setting forth –

(i) all the available information about the exclusionary policies or practices of the government of such country when such policies or practices are based upon race, religion, national origin, or sex and prevent any such person from participating in a transaction involving the furnishing of any assistance under this chapter or any education and training under chapter 5;

(ii) the response of the United States thereto and the results of such response;

(iii) whether, in the opinion of the President, notwithstanding any such policies or practices –

(I) extraordinary circumstances exist which necessitate continuation of such assistance or education and training transaction, and, if so, a description of such circumstances and the extent to which such assistance or education and training transaction should be continued (subject to such conditions as Congress may impose under this section), and (II) on all the facts it is in the national interest of the United States to continue such assistance or education and training transaction; and

(iv) such other information as such committee may request.

(B) In the event a statement with respect to an assistance or training transaction is requested pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph but is not transmitted in accordance therewith within 60 days after receipt of such request, such assistance or training transaction shall be suspended unless and until such statement is transmitted.

(C) (i) In the event a statement with respect to an assistance or training transaction is transmitted under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the Congress may at any time thereafter adopt a joint resolution terminating or restricting such assistance or training transaction

Source: U.S. Statutes at Large 90 (1976): 729

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