Congressman Jim McGovern

Representing the 2nd District of Massachussetts
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Flickr icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon

Human Rights

Described as "The Conscience of the Congress" by Senator Ed Markey, Congressman McGovern is one of the foremost voices for human rights in Congress.

Congressman McGovern serves as the co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and is one of the foremost voices for human rights in Congress, both at home and abroad. The Congressman feels that human rights are not, and should not be treated as, a partisan issue.

Congressman McGovern has urged Congress to provide support for safety-net programs such as SNAP and Medicaid in order to provide all citizens with an acceptable quality of life, rather than demonizing those who are struggling. He has also supported the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and the implementation of humane interrogation standards for all detainees in U.S. custody. 

In addition to focusing on human rights in the United States, Congressman McGovern has been an active force in advocating for human rights around the world. The Congressman has spoken to the House of Representatives about bringing an end to the prosecution of the Rohingya people by the government of Burma, supported  U.S. assistance to the Nigerian government with the aim of finding nearly 300 abducted schoolgirls, and advocated for human rights in Bahrain and Columbia. In June, Congressman McGovern introduced HR 4851, The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.

This bipartisan bill promotes access to Tibetan areas of China for U.S. officials, journalists, and average citizens. Currently, travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese government on Tibet are more severe than for any other provincial-level entity of China.

Securing human rights for all people—both in the U.S. and abroad—is a key focus for Congressman McGovern and he will continue to monitor and speak out on situations that must be addressed. 

More on Human Rights

Jan 28, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and leading voice in Congress on human rights, released the following statement on the executive order signed by President Trump on Friday.

“America was founded on the fundamental belief in the freedom of religion. The fact that President Trump chose Holocaust Remembrance Day to sign his Muslim ban shutting the door to thousands of refugees fleeing war is shameful.

Jan 27, 2017

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR – This week U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) joined an international human rights delegation in El Salvador for the forum entitled “Forced Disappearance During the Salvadoran Armed Conflict: The Search, Truth and Reconciliation” at the University of Central America José Simeon Cañas. McGovern, along with Salvadoran and international human rights experts, will hear personal testimonies – including from US citizens – of the children, parents and siblings of some of the thousands who disappeared during the Salvadoran civil war.

Jan 13, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and leading voice on Sudan released the following statement on the announced changes by the Obama Administration regarding U.S. sanctions on Sudan.

Dec 17, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and leading voice in Congress on human rights, released the following statement on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria.  

"Every day we hear about new horrors as the massacre in Syria continues. At this moment, somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 people remain in Aleppo waiting to be evacuated to safety. Thanks to the evacuation operation that was negotiated this week, some 8,000 people were able to leave Aleppo in recent days. 

Dec 13, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and leading voice on human rights, led a group of 37 House lawmakers in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry expressing deep concern about the escalation of killings and assaults in Colombia on human rights defenders, LGBT and women activists, labor leaders and other social leaders. In the letter, the lawmakers call on Secretary Kerry to take strong and immediate steps to address the increased violence and support protections for groups under attack.

Dec 8, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) applauded Congressional passage of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, a bill he co-authored to crack down on corruption and human rights abuses around the world. The bill was passed as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 375-34. Congressman McGovern is one of four co-sponsors of the bipartisan legislation along with Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ).

Dec 5, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and leading voice on human rights, called on President-elect Donald Trump to take immediate steps to eliminate potential conflicts of interest created by the government of Bahrain paying the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. to host a major public event this week to influence U.S. policy.

Sep 26, 2016

CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA – Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and leading voice in Congress for human rights, joined U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other U.S. leaders for the signing of a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to end an armed conflict that began in 1964. Congressman McGovern released the following statement on the signing:

Sep 23, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), co-chair of the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, held a hearing on Syria’s humanitarian crisis and additional steps the U.S. can take to address it and increase civilian protection. Click here for video of today’s hearing.

Aug 24, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and leading voice in Congress for human rights, applauded the news that negotiators from the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group will make a historic announcement tonight to end an armed conflict that began in 1964.