In Celebration of Human Rights Day, President Clinton presented Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards to two women and three men in recognition of their leadership and achievements in the struggle for human rights around the world. Recipients included Tillie Black Bear, a Native American woman who founded the first domestic violence shelter on an Indian reservation; Frederick Cuny for his humanitarian aid to victims of conflict and disaster all over the world; Norman Dorsen, president of the American Civil Liberties Union, for his use of the law to defend human rights; Elaine Jones for her work with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and to Theodore McCarrick, for his work with refugees and the homeless and advocating for debt relief for poor countries.
Clinton spoke to the efforts of these five people, but reminded all that the struggle for human rights and justice around the world is ongoing. He spoke about the denial of Afghan women’s and girls’ basic human rights, slavery in Sudan and oppression in China. He praised the work of human rights activists, and challenged everyone to take up the fight for human rights.