Cato Institute Launches New Center for Promotion of Human Rights

“Global Freedom Initiative” aims to promote better understanding of the benefits of liberty

July 3, 2007

Media Contact: (202) 789-5200

WASHINGTON — On this, the eve of Independence Day, the Cato Institute is announcing the launch of its Center for Promotion of Human Rights, and its umbrella project, the Global Freedom Initiative, as part of its continuing effort to promote the tenets of individual liberty, free markets and limited government.

To that end, the Center will publish and distribute books, promote internet content, syndicate articles through the popular media, organize teaching seminars and policy conferences, and more.

In order to reach the widest possible audience, the Center will disseminate its materials in different languages. Thus far, Center publications have appeared in English, Spanish, Russian and Arabic.  Kurdish and Persian programs will be operative in mid-August, a nascent Chinese-language program will be fully operative in early fall, and the groundwork has been laid for an integrated African program - in both French and English - also set to launch in the fall.

While the desired outcomes vary from region to region, certain common aims unite the various efforts. The Center aims to change the terms of public policy debate in the Middle East, China, Africa and Eastern Europe by broadening awareness of the ideas of liberty, and providing “intellectual ammunition” to its defenders, in the form of arguments and evidence.

However, the Center is not primarily a research center. Original research is carried out by other Cato Institute departments, such as the Center for Trade Policy Studies, the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, and the Center for Constitutional Studies, which are also part of Cato’s Global Freedom Initiative. Instead, the mission of the new Center is to create a worldwide movement that advances a classical liberal agenda of free markets - and free people.

“The American Declaration of Independence speaks of the equal right to freedom of everyone, not just of members of this or that group,” says Tom Palmer, Cato’s vice president for international programs, and the Center’s director. “Cato’s Global Freedom Initiative is a purely private and independent project to achieve that goal, so that every human being can enjoy their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

For more information on the Center for Promotion of Human Rights, or the Global Freedom Initiative, please call the Cato Institute media relations department at 202-789-5200.