Senate Human Rights Commission to be created under bipartisan Tillis resolution

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) on Monday helped lead a bipartisan contingent of lawmakers in introducing a resolution that would establish the Senate Human Rights Commission.

“Now more than ever, it is vital the United States prioritize human rights and reveal violations occurring across the globe,” Sen. Tillis said on March 2. “I’m honored to join my colleagues to establish the Senate Human Rights Commission to keep focused on these pressing issues.” 

Sen. Tillis is an original cosponsor of Senate Resolution 80, which he introduced with fellow co-chair of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), who sponsored the resolution. Among the members joining Sen. Tillis as a cosponsor was U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).

If enacted, the resolution would create the bipartisan Senate Human Rights Commission to examine human rights violations through regular briefings and events, and to promote human rights initiatives in the Senate, according to Sen. Tillis’ office, which noted that the commission would be modeled after the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“From the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal imprisonment of Muslim minorities to the Russian government’s crackdown on political dissidents,” Sen. Tillis said, “we are tragically seeing a resurgence of authoritarian regimes denying people basic freedoms.”

In December 2020, more than 50 leading human rights organizations sent a letter to Senate leadership in support of establishing a Senate Human Rights Commission, which earlier this week also was endorsed by Amnesty International USA and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, among others.