Human Rights and Democracy

Fighting for human rights is a passion for everyone associated with the McCain Institute. It not only spurs us to advance dignity, democracy and freedom throughout the world, it reminds us all how working in the arena on these issues can change the fate of millions of people. With international headlines highlighting increased threats to freedom from power-hungry tyrants, this program is more important than ever.

As Senator John McCain consistently worked to fight injustice and further the ideals of justice for the oppressed, the Institute’s programs related to this issue work to:

  1. Direct assistance to human rights activists who had to flee their countries, in order to help them transition to their new environments while remaining focused on promoting human rights in their home countries.
  2. Understand what Americans believe about human rights and commence a campaign to educate the importance of standing up for human rights.
  3. Elevate the importance of these issues in U.S. foreign policy and promote the integration of human rights policies into broader national security strategies.

We Hold These Truths

The principle of universality of human rights is the cornerstone of international human rights law.

Human Rights Defenders Program

Human Rights Defenders Mission: Provide temporary, transitional support to activists who are forced to work underground or flee their countries so…

Bucking the Democratic Recession

Why should the United States care about the state of democracy around the world? Free nations are more economically successful,…

The North Kivu Democracy Project

The McCain Institute is working to support the successful conduct of free and fair elections in North Kivu province, Democratic…


Are you a policy-minded college student looking to intern this Spring in Washington, D.C.? Apply to be part of the McCain Institute’s Spring 2020 class of interns:

1.1 billion girls
1 world
Unlimited dreams

Girls can do anything! Join @UN_Women in celebrating Friday's #DayOfTheGirl. #GenerationEquality

THURSDAY 10/17: Join us for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall to explore the biggest challenges facing Central & Eastern European democracy and lessons learned from 1989-1991 @Freedomhouse @TheBushCenter #democracyforum

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