North Korean defector Lee Hyeonseo (D.A. Peterson/State Dept.)

Outside North Korea, this defector found a new world

When she was 17, Lee Hyeonseo escaped into China while famine ravaged North Korea. After a decade of hiding, she now shares her story to raise awareness of other defectors.

‘The truth wins out’ in country reports on human rights

"No country can fulfill its potential if its people are held back, or more so if they are beaten down by repression," Secretary Kerry said.
President Obama walking off stage with bowed head (© AP Images)

After deaths in 3 U.S. cities, Obama calls for respect and...

“I’d like all sides to listen to each other,” President Obama says about the recent killings of two African-American men and five police officers.

Obama: Through democracy, countries can realize their full potential

What defines a strong nation in the 21st century? It's not the control of territory, but “individual rights, good governance and personal security.”
Headshot of smiling young woman in hijab, outside, surrounded by greenery (State Dept./D.A. Peterson)

New U.S. youth observer to the U.N. to engage millennials in...

Munira Khalif will spend the next year as the U.S. youth observer to the U.N., showing millennials that their voices count on the international stage.

It’s time to end FGM/C

More than 125 million women and girls are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation/cutting, also known as FGM/C. Most were age 15...
Mobile phone screen with Twitter and Facebook apps (© AP Images)

Social media: Blessing or curse for office-seekers? [video]

Political campaigns have been all about controlling the message. Social media makes this very hard, yet for many people it's their primary source of news.
Fireworks exploding behind cylindrical sculpture (© Wally Skaliji/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

Persia’s Cyrus Cylinder inspires Americans

The glittering Freedom Sculpture in Los Angeles, modeled after the ancient clay Cyrus Cylinder, is just one testimonial to Persian king Cyrus the Great's support for human rights.

Much work by many brings a shift on gay Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America removed its 105-year-old ban on gay leaders. The landmark decision is the result of years of effort by LGBTI activists.