For the last time as a Senator, Patrick Leahy will keynote State Dept. conference on implementation of the Leahy Laws (human rights tools)


Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday morning will offer keynote remarks at the State Department’s two-day conference on implementation of the Leahy Law, which has become the most effective human rights tool in the U.S. human rights toolbox. This will be Leahy’s last appearance at the periodic conference in his role as a U.S. Senator.

The Leahy Law was written and championed by Leahy through the years, attached by him to various appropriations bills and ultimately made permanent as a provision in the Foreign Assistance Act. The law bars U.S. training or weapons to units of foreign security forces that have committed gross violations of human rights, unless the foreign government is taking effective steps to bring those responsible to justice.  Over the years, hundreds of Leahy Law vetters in the State Department and in U.S. embassies around the world have reviewed reports of human rights abuses in making determinations about application of the Leahy Law sanctions.

The two-day conference at the State Department’s George C. Marshall Center Auditorium includes Leahy Law vetters as well as officials from the departments of State and Defense, and representatives of civil society.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will introduce Leahy at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 6), and Leahy’s keynote address will begin at about 9:40 a.m.  Both of those remarks will be available on the State Department’s YouTube channel, on state.gov and youtube.com/StateDept on Tuesday, Sept. 6, from approximately 9:30 a.m. EDT until 10:15 a.m. EDT.