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2017-2021 ARCHIVED CONTENT

You are viewing ARCHIVED CONTENT released online from January 20, 2017 to January 20, 2021.

Content in this archive site is NOT UPDATED, and links may not function.

For current information, go to www.state.gov.

Why Security and Human Rights?

A principal goal of United States security sector assistance is to promote the transparent and accountable oversight of security forces, rule of law, and respect for human rights. Rights-respecting civilian and military security forces that protect human rights and are held accountable for human rights violations are essential to functioning democracies, successful conflict prevention, and peacebuilding.

Implementing the Leahy law, the U.S. government vets its assistance to foreign security forces to ensure that recipients have not committed a gross violation of human rights, and allows for engagement with governments to promote accountability for past abuses while seeking to prevent future ones.

Leahy Law

Leahy vetting is a process through which the U.S. government vets foreign security forces nominated to receive assistance with funds appropriated in the Foreign Assistance Act, Arms Export and Control Act, or the National Defense Authorization Act to ensure they have not committed a gross violation of human rights. When the vetting process uncovers credible information that an individual or unit has committed a gross violation of human rights, U.S. assistance is withheld. This obligation to vet foreign security forces can be found in section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA) and Section 362 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code.

Leahy Fact Sheet

Public Release of Foreign Security Forces Units Ineligible for Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and Arms Export Control Act Assistance Pursuant to the State Leahy Law CY 2018 [Download PDF] [286 KB]

Public Release of Foreign Security Forces Units Ineligible for Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and Arms Export Control Act Assistance Pursuant to the State Leahy Law CY 2017 [136 KB]

The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights

Civilian Casualties

The Department of Defense offers a webpage on reporting civilian casualties  so individuals can submit information to the relevant U.S. Department of Defense Combatant Commands about civilian casualties that may have resulted from U.S. military operations.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future