Tuesday, December 8, 2020

In advance of Human Rights Day 2020, Amnesty International hosted a special virtual briefing marking the human rights challenges to come in 2021. In particular, the briefing focused on the human rights crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region that has already claimed hundreds of lives, left many more injured, and forced tens of thousands into refugee camps in neighboring Sudan.

Special opening remarks on human rights in the 117th Congress will come from co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Human Rights Caucus, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC).

Speakers:

Joanne Lin, National Director, Advocacy & Government Affairs, AIUSA

Adotei Akwei, Deputy Director, Advocacy & Government Affairs, AIUSA

Fisseha Tekle, Research, Horn of Africa, Amnesty International

Jana Mason, Senior External Relations Advisor, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees

Scott Busby, principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Speaker Bios

Scott Busby

Serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC, where he oversees the Bureau’s work on Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Multilateral and Global Affairs, including U.S. engagement on human rights at the United Nations, disability rights, LGBTI rights, internet freedom, business and human rights, and International Labor Affairs.


Jana Mason

Senior Advisor for External Relations and Government Affairs at the Washington, DC office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She acts as a liaison for UNHCR and represents the agency’s interests with the U.S. government – particularly the State Department and Congress – and with nongovernmental organizations.


Fisseha Tekle

Amnesty International’s Horn of Africa Researcher. Prior to joining Amnesty, Fisseha ran a private consulting agency, before that he served as the executive Director for the Organization for Social Development.  He has a Master of Laws (LL.M.) on Human rights and International Justice from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.


Adotei Akwei

Deputy Director Advocacy and Government Relations for Amnesty International USA. He has focused on human rights and U.S. foreign policy toward Africa since 1988 and has worked at CARE USA, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and the American Committee on Africa and The Africa Fund.


Moderator

Joanne Lin

Directs Amnesty International USA’s Advocacy and Government Affairs Department.  She has over 14 years of experience advocating for the rights of immigrants and refugees before Congress and the U.S. government, and over seven years of experience representing immigrants in family law and immigration proceedings.