The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor was created in 1977 to help advance individual liberty and democratic freedoms around the world. It addresses the fundamental freedoms set forth in the founding documents of the United States and the complementary articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other global and regional commitments. The United States supports the aspirations of those persons who long to live in freedom and under democratic governments as a means of combating terrorism and the spread of authoritarianism and advancing a free, peaceful, and prosperous world on behalf of the American people.
The Department uses a wide range of tools to advance freedom and democracy, including bilateral diplomacy, multilateral engagement, foreign assistance, reporting and public outreach, and economic sanctions. The United States works with democratic partners, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, and engaged citizens to support the aspirations of those seeking freedom.