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Mission Statement

Connect - Empower - Amplify

I. Background

Advancing Human Rights (AHR) was created in 2010 by Robert L. Bernstein,
the founder of Human Rights Watch and former President and CEO of
Random House for twenty-five years.

AHR focuses on freedom of speech, women’s rights and promoting the
freedoms outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, particularly
by leveraging the power of the Internet.

Online activists and cyber dissidents are the new generation of cutting edge
human rights proponents. Their courageous innovations and recognition of
the terrible risks and abuses they face in closed societies are the heart of
AHR’s mission.

To address these issues head on, Bernstein decided to form a new human
rights organization at the age of 87. He gathered a talented group of young
human rights advocates to build this with him.

AHR works with closed societies that do not have a fraction of the rights and
accountability of open societies. It champions a common sense approach
to human rights and return to the mandate of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. Importantly, it will focus primarily on human rights issues often
neglected, and the stories of individual dissidents.

Additionally, it will combat state-sponsored incitement, particularly incitement
to genocide. This is often the precursor to genocide and is one of the least
covered issues in the human rights community today.

Bernstein has called AHR “one of the most important things I‘ve ever done” and is convinced that this organization has the potential to significantly change the narrative of human rights.

II. Mission

AHR leverages the power of the Internet to support those fighting for human
rights in closed societies. We CONNECT activists, EMPOWER dissidents and
AMPLIFY new voices for freedom.

Who:

AHR reaches out to leading human rights voices from around the world. We
engage with democratic dissidents in autocratic countries by connecting
them with each other, policy-makers and press globally. AHR connects with
writers, thinkers, activists and students to help foster freedom of speech,
equality for women and minority rights in closed societies. We believe that
these freedoms are key to allowing all men and women to achieve their
highest potential.

What:

1) CONNECT Activists

AHR provides an online platform for dissidents to connect with one another.
We link those on the front lines in the struggle for human rights with powerful
backers and concerned citizens throughout the world.

2) EMPOWER Dissidents

AHR’s marketplace, training and conferences provide dissidents with critical
help in the fight for human rights. Our ever-growing network provides
valuable legal, technological, media and policy aid to pro-democracy
dissidents.

3) AMPLIFY New Voices

AHR promotes the voices of democratic dissidents to global audiences. We
seek to embolden defenders of human liberty by giving them a platform to
speak out against injustice. We believe that raising the profile and names of
imprisoned dissidents provides them a measure of protection. Amplifying the
voices of democratic dissidents also raises the price of dictatorship. We link
dissidents with leading policy-makers, press and student leaders throughout
the world.

Why:

The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 1975 Helsinki Final
Act counted among their goals free speech, equality for women, the right
to pray or not, and open education for all nations. AHR has returned to the
values of the Universal Declaration with a primary focus on closed societies.
Open societies, unlike closed societies, have the means to correct human
rights abuses such as a free press, active and independent NGOs, vigilant
courts and independent legislatures. We therefore believe that our time is best
spent focusing on authoritarian countries without free speech or corrective
mechanisms.

AHR believes in empowering local human rights advocates working for a
better future. They often pay the ultimate price for their activism.

Advancing Human Rights: Empowering New Voices for Freedom Read More

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