The Role of Congress in U.S. Human Rights Policy and Beyond

Christopher Smith

(R-NJ) Chairman, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives

Michael D. Mosettig

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.

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