Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight

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Under the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Right and Oversight has initial jurisdiction over legislation pertaining to :

  • implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other matters relating to internationally-recognized human rights, including sanctions legislation aimed at the promotion of human rights and democracy generally
  • parliamentary conferences and exchanges
  • the American Red Cross and the United Nations, its affiliated agencies and other international organizations, including assessed and voluntary contributions to such organizations

Those aspects of these areas that come under the Foreign Assistance Act, the Arms Export Control Act, the Export Administration Act, and the provision of foreign assistance are under other subcommittees or the full committee.

The chairman, as of September 2010, is Russ Carnahan (D-Missouri) and the ranking minority member is Dana Rohrabacher (R-California).[1]

Areas of interest

United Nations

Rep. Rohrabacher, subcommittee chair under a Republican majority, has long been an advocate of drastic reform of the UN. In 2005, he introduced legislation to cut the US financial contribution unless measures are taken including:[2]

  • Creation of an Independent Oversight Board with the authority to evaluate all operations of the UN
  • Establishing procedures to protect whistle-blowers, individuals who reveal wrongdoings within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority
  • Creation of a uniform code of conduct for all UN officials
  • Shifting of the funding mechanisms of certain organizational programs from the regular assessed UN budget to voluntarily funded programs
  • Compels the US President to influence the Secretary General of the UN to waive diplomatic immunity for UN officials under investigation or charged with serious criminal offenses

International broadcasting

In July 2009, it held a hearing on TV Marti, a Spanish-language U.S. government broadcasting station, primarily targeted on Cuba.


In June and July 2009, it held hearings related to Uighurs and their nationalism, role in terrorism, and treatment by the government of China. These hearings considered the issues of Uighur detainees in Guantanamo have addressed more general aspects of Guantanamo Bay detention camp and the extrajudicial detention and intelligence interrogation policies and practices there. [3]

It examined the practices of U.S. and multinational corporations in other countries.[4]