Civil and Human Rights

Our government is founded on the belief that individuals have a number of “inalienable rights” enshrined in the Constitution. I believe that the protection of those rights is a fundamental obligation for each member of Congress, and I take that duty very seriously.  It is important that we work to end discrimination and human rights abuses wherever they occur.  

In my work in the House of Representatives, where I was previously a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Vice Chair of the Human Rights Commission, I do my best to make sure a proper balance between security and liberty is maintained, and that government’s reach into our private lives is kept to a minimum.

More on Civil and Human Rights

June 7, 2012 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (June 7, 2012) — Today, Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Howard Berman (D-CA) and about 37 House colleagues introduced H.R. 5905, the International Violence Against Women Act, to establish new tools to help the U.S. government prevent violence against women abroad, particularly in conflict situations. 


March 12, 2012 Press Release



WASHINGTON, DC (March 12, 2012) — Today Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and 93 fellow House members sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to raise the alarm over human rights violations in Honduras where human rights defenders, journalists, community leaders and opposition activists are subject to death threats, attacks and extrajudicial executions. Today also marks the 18th fatal attack on a member of the news media in the past two years after a Honduran journalist was killed by an unknown attacker wielding a machete.