The Role of Congress in U.S. Human Rights Policy and Beyond
(R-NJ) Chairman, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives
Writer, PBS Online NewsHour
Representative Christopher Smith joins Michael D. Mosettig of PBS to discuss the challenges of human rights policymaking and the importance of speaking out on behalf of the victims of abuse. Smith laments the power of lobbying interests to kill human rights-related bills in Congress and warns that economic interests frequently take precedence over rights concerns in U.S. foreign policy. Though critical of certain aspects of its implementation, Smith points to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act as an example of effective legislation that has successfully prodded foreign governments to take steps to prevent human trafficking.
Michael Gerson writes that "Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is attempting something rare and difficult -- sharing power with the man who tried to murder him."
Zimbabwe has been ruled by a unity government since 2008, but President Robert Mugabe and his party continue to usurp power and pillage the country's wealth.
The United States should position itself to take advantage of a post-Mugabe transition by working with other countries of the southern African region to limit the risk of civil violence in Zimbabwe and lay the groundwork for a better future.