Merged with the National Forum Foundation, July 1997.
Freedom House is a clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world. Founded nearly sixty years ago by Eleanor Roosevelt, Wendell Willkie, and other Americans concerned with the mounting threats to peace and democracy, Freedom House has been a vigorous proponent of democratic values and a steadfast opponent of dictatorships of the far left and the far right.
The history of recent years has shown that when
aggressive nations set out to steal the lands and
destroy the freedom of their neighbors civilization
everywhere is imperilled.
-- Winston Churchill to Freedom House
on its first anniversary, 1942
Non-partisan and broad-based, Freedom House is led by a Board of Trustees composed of leading Democrats, Republicans, and independents; business and labor leaders; former senior government officials; scholars; writers; and journalists. All are united in the view that American leadership in international affairs is essential to the cause of human rights and freedom.
Over the years, Freedom House has been at the center of the struggle for freedom. It was an outspoken advocate of the Marshall Plan and NATO in the 1940s, of the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, of the Vietnam boat people in the 1970s, of Poland's Solidarity movement and the Filipino democratic opposition in the 1980s, and of the many democracies that have emerged around the world in the 1990s.
For more than fifty years, Freedom House has been
a voice for tolerance and human dignity. People
all over the world are better off because of your
-- President Bill Clinton
Freedom House has vigorously opposed dictatorships in Central America and Chile, apartheid in South Africa, the suppression of the Prague Spring, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda, and the brutal violation of human rights in Cuba, Burma, China, and Iraq.
It has championed the rights of democratic activists, religious believers, trade unionists, journalists, and proponents of free markets. In 1997, Freedom House consolidated with the National Forum Foundation and now operates its full range of democratization programs.
Freedom House has demonstrated through decades
since its founding a most extraordinarily consistent,
clearheaded commitment to the democratic politics
in free societies.
-- Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick
Today, Freedom House is a leading advocate of the world's young democracies, which are coping with the debilitating legacy of statism, dictatorship, and political repression. It conducts an array of U.S. and overseas research, advocacy, education, and training initiatives that promote human rights, democracy, free market economics, the rule of law, independent media, and U.S. engagement in international affairs.
Since 1978, Freedom House has published Freedom in the World, an annual comparative assessment of the state of political rights and civil liberties in 191 countries. Widely used by policy-makers, journalists, and scholars, the 600-page survey is the definitive report on freedom around the globe.
Freedom in the World provides a candid assessment
of how far nations have come in realizing
fundamental human rights for their citizens, and
how far they must go.
--Senator Daniel Patrick Moynahan
For twenty years, Freedom House has issued its Press Freedom Survey, an annual country-by-country, worldwide assessment of press freedom. The survey examines press laws, political and economic constraints on news reporting, and cases of press freedom violations.
Nations in Transit is a comprehensive annual progress report on the status of the political and economic reforms in the emerging democracies and transitional countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The 400-page book provides detailed analysis and data on 27 countries.
Nations in Transit can serve not only as an
informative text, but as a guide for Members as we
consider the appropriate role for the United States
in this region.
--Reps. Benjamin Gilman and Lee Hamilton,
Chairman and Ranking Minority Member,
House Committee on International Relations
The Center for Religious Freedom is at the forefront of a national campaign to defend persecuted Christians worldwide. Since its inception in 1986, the Center, under the directorship of human rights lawyer Nina Shea, has reported on the religious persecution of individuals and groups abroad, and undertaken advocacy on their behalf in the media, Congress, State Department and White House. It also sponsors investigative field missions and presses official Washington for overall religious freedom in China, Sudan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and elsewhere. It was the Center's 1996 conference on the "Global Persectuion of Christians" that brought together major Christian leaders from many faith traditions for the first time and sparked a national debate on the issue. Become a member of the Center for Religious Freedom and receive its monthly newsletter on anti-Christian persecution. For futher information please contact the Center's offices.
Visit Our Sudan Symposium Website.
Freedom Review reports on important domestic and foreign policy issues. Recent issues have featured discussions on political developments in China, intelligence and espionage in free societies, and immigration policy.
Freedom House Conferences and Seminars regularly bring together policy- and opinion-makers to discuss key foreign policy issues. Freedom House senior staff frequently testify before U.S. Congressional committees and subcommittees, and their commentary often appears in leading international publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, National Review, Newsweek, TIME, Weekly Standard, and Foreign Affairs.
Freedom House regularly bestows the Freedom Award to honor individuals for outstanding contributions to human liberty. Recipients during the award's four-decade history include Winston Churchill, Edward R. Murrow, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Medgar Evers, Vaclav Havel, and the Dalai Lama.
The American Volunteers in International Development (AVID) program sponsors American professionals who work as volunteers in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, South America, and the former Soviet Union. These volunteers provide expertise in governance, media, economic development, and management of non-governmental organizations.
The Democratic transition requires new knowledge
and skills...[T]he AVID program [has] made valuable
contributions to that process.
--Czech President Vaclav Havel
The Freedom House Visiting Fellows program has provided training in the U.S. for over 500 new leaders from emerging democracies. For 6-10 weeks the participants work side-by-side in the United States with their American counterparts in national and state government, NGOs, media, and business. Alumni are now leading their countries on the path to reform as government ministers, mayors, newspaper editors, and business leaders. Freedom House has also provided short term U.S.-based training to an additional 300 emerging leaders.
Freedom House manages the regional networking component of USAID's Democracy Network program, which sponsors cross-border activities throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Under this program, Freedom House awards grants for regional (multi-country) projects; links the region's NGO managers through professional exchanges and internships; conducts counterpart training for NGO Staff; provides on-site technical support; publishes NGONews and Think Tanks in Central and Eastern Europe; and sponsors seminars and conferences.
Freedom House promotes democratic change in Ukraine through two major programs. Law in Action supports the work of human rights NGOs in Ukraine by organizing rule-of-law seminars, publishing books on legal reform, and training human rights monitors. Partnership for Reform in Ukraine awards grants to independent public policy institutes, which advocate social, economic, and political reform in Ukraine.
Today a number of organizations promote democracy
around the world, but Freedom House was the first,
and its influence remains dominant.
--Brian Atwood, USAID Administrator
Freedom House's Cuba Democracy Project (CDP) is preparing for Cuba's transition to democracy. CDP provides publications and other support for independent organizations and activists on the island.
The Romanian Government Transition Support program strengthens the management, communications, and media relations capabilities of the country's democratic government through U.S.- and Romania-based professional internships and exchanges as well as on-site consultations by U.S. experts.
Your East European democratization programs are right on target.
-- Senator Bob Dole
The Romanian Professional Media Program (PMP), conducted through a consortium with IREX and funded by USAID, helps to improve the commercial viability and professional development of independent media.
Board of Trustees
Freedom House is a non-profit, nonpartisan organizationthat relies upon tax-deductible grants and donations under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Major support has been provided by:
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation * The Byrne Foundation * The Carthage Foundation * The Eurasia Foundation * The Ford Foundation * The Freedom Forum * Grace Foundation, Inc. * Lilly Endowment, Inc. The LWH Family Foundation * National Endowment for Democracy * The Pew Charitable Trusts * Sarah Scaife Foundation * The Schloss Family Foundation * Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc.* The Soros Foundations * The Tinker Foundation * Unilever United States Foundation, Inc. * US Agency for International Development * US Information Agency