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.