56. Memorandum Prepared by Representative Donald Fraser 1

Other issues.

1. There is a need for up-to-date reporting on human rights conditions. It would be desirable to make an annual report on all countries, not just on those countries to which military equipment will be sold. Raw data, of course, need not be published. Such reports provide an opportunity to show positive change without making a direct link to U.S. efforts.

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2. The coordinators office needs strengthening with additional personnel. In addition, full-time human rights2 offices are needed in the regional bureaus. They continue to be part-time now.

3. Attendance at political trials at the level of a political officer is needed.3 The Embassies should be informed of such a policy.

4. With respect to our participation in the international financial banks, if discretion is left to the Executive Branch in pursuing human rights concerns (which I favor), is the government developing diplomatic approaches prior to consideration of loan applications by serious violators to ensure discussion of the human rights factors in the staffs’ papers and the Boards’ deliberations?

5. In the past, the U.S. has supported and cooperated with the Southern African Program of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has given grants to the International Commission of Jurists. These actions have been helpful. The Department’s affirmative position on the UN Trust Fund and on the proposed defense and aid program for Chile have also been good,4 but I’m told the results have been poor.

(a) Could the Department look at the possibilities for initiating a worldwide UN legal defense and aid program5 with voluntary (including US) contributions?

(b) Could the Department also examine possibilities of creating a U.S. Commission which could administer a modest amount of public funds in support of programs that strengthen the role of the private sector working in human rights field. Such funding might provide for conferences on the subject of human rights, fellowships for human rights studies abroad, and studies of special human rights problems.6

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Deputy Secretary: Records of Warren Christopher, 1977–1980, Lot 81D113, Box 16, Human Rights—Don Fraser. No classification marking. Tarnoff sent the memorandum to Christopher, Derian, Nimetz, Bennet, Holbrooke, Todman, and Maynes under a June 11 covering memorandum noting that Fraser had left his memorandum and an additional memorandum outlining country situations with Vance following Fraser’s June 10 meeting with the Secretary. Tarnoff indicated that Vance had requested a short status report on the issues contained within the two memoranda. (Ibid.) Briefing memoranda for Vance’s meeting with Fraser are in the Department of State, Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, 1976–1977 Human Rights Subject Files and Country Files, Lot 80D177, PGOV—Congressional. No record of the meeting has been found.
  2. An unknown hand underlined “full-time human rights.”
  3. An unknown hand underlined this sentence.
  4. An unknown hand underlined the first half of this sentence.
  5. An unknown hand underlined “initiating a worldwide UN legal defense” and “aid program.”
  6. An unknown hand placed a check mark next to this paragraph and underlined the portion of the first sentence following the word “strengthen” to the end of the paragraph.