Center for American Progress Action
Testimony Before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus
John Norris cautions against investments in governments that commit atrocities against their own citizens in this testimony before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.
I would like to thank the caucus for holding this hearing today, and once again demonstrating much needed leadership in this arena. The Human Rights Caucus continues to be one of the great unsung heroes of the Congress, and a terrific example of the bipartisan commitment in the Congress to fundamental rights around the globe.
I would like to approach my testimony today from a more personal level. For the record, I am not an expert in fiduciary instruments or investment law. I am not a regulatory expert or an investment lawyer. However, during my career I have had the dubious pleasure of sitting down face-to-face with a good many war criminals in places where they live and work – in Liberia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo and elsewhere. I can tell you without reservation, that all
of these men were acutely aware of investment laws and practice in the United States. These men eagerly awaited every mention of sanctions, every list of state sponsors of terrorism and every trafficking report out of the U.S. Government. They pay close attention to divestment campaigns. You will also be pleased to note that many of them seemed quite familiar with testimonies offered in front of the Human Rights Caucus!
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Senior Fellow; Executive Director, Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative