I encourage the next president to create a Department of Human Rights, lead by a cabinet-level Secretary of Human Rights. The purpose of the Department is to protect and preserve human rights throughout the world. This encompasses John Edwards’ goal of ending poverty in America and extends it to become an effort with international scope, guided by the principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The simple guiding principle is that everyone has unalienable rights, and our nation cannot remain idle as long as these rights are denied anywhere.
The Department will begin by defining, measuring, and reporting on human rights domestically and throughout the world. Second, the many contributing causes of specific human rights violations will be identified, analyzed, and reported. As the causes contributing to human rights violations become understood then creative political, diplomatic, charity, economic, entrepreneurial,cultural, educational, multinational, and volunteer efforts will be used to address the root causes.
More than one billion people lack access to safe drinking water. Ensuring every person has access to clean and safe drinking water could be a specific and important first project. This is best done with the minimum intervention employing local people using sustainable methods.
All of history is the quest for dignity. What could be more urgent or more important than protecting human rights?