Human Rights Day with Guest Speaker Rep. Jim McGovern
Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 1:30 pm
It is particularly fitting that U.S. Representative James “Jim” McGovern, long-time advocate for human rights around the globe, will be the guest speaker at this year’s Human Rights Day anniversary. He follows in the footsteps of such human rights activists as Eleanor Roosevelt who with the newly formed United Nations in 1948 created the thirty articles that comprise the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. After World War II, the need was strongly felt to affirm that all people are born with unchallengeable and fundamental freedoms based on dignity, equality, and mutual respect regardless of their nationality, religion, or beliefs. The honoring of these crucial international rights, more important than ever in these chaotic times, will be held on Sunday, December 10th at the Jones Library with Rep. McGovern as the keynote speaker; the Amherst chapter of Amnesty International will be sponsoring the event, along with a number of local organizations.
As Co-chair of the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Rep. McGovern has investigated international human rights abuses in China in terms of its denial of rights in Tibet as well as abuses in such countries as Colombia and El Salvador. In 2012, he authored the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which permits the President to apply sanctions and penalties on foreign officials whom the U.S. identifies as torturers, corrupt leaders, or human rights abusers. As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stresses, health is a basic human right. McGovern, as founder and co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus and Ranking Member on the House Subcommittee on Nutrition, has advocated strongly to fund programs that help working families, children, and the elderly put food on the table; he also has authored the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program to provide healthy school-based meals for millions of needy children around the world.
The celebration and talk by Rep. McGovern will take place on Sunday, December 10th from 1:30 to 3:30 pm in the Jones Library’s Woodbury Room in Amherst. It is free and open to the public.