Fact Sheet: Human Rights Day: the Eleanor Roosevelt Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (12/6/00)
                             December 6, 2000

Today, President Clinton presented five Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights
Awards in celebration of Human Rights Day.  He also awarded Burmese human
rights and democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi with the Presidential Medal of
Freedom.  This year?s ceremony marks the 52nd anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly
in 1948 to affirm the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all people.
(Human Rights Day is usually celebrated on December 10, which this year
falls on a Sunday.)

Human rights and democracy are integral to American values and also
reinforce U.S. interests worldwide.  President Clinton has made the
promotion of democracy and human rights a significant component of his
Administration?s foreign and domestic policies.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award

Eleanor Roosevelt was a driving force behind the adoption in 1948 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. President Clinton established this
award in 1998 to honor her commitment to the principles of the Declaration.

This year, the Secretary of State recommended, and the President approved,
five distinguished U.S. citizens to receive the third annual Eleanor
Roosevelt Award for Human Rights for their achievements in human rights
leadership at home and abroad.

The 2000 Eleanor Roosevelt Awardees are:

Tillie Black Bear:  For more than 20 years, Tillie Black Bear has been a
strong voice for Native American and women?s rights and a leading advocate
for victims of domestic violence.  She founded the first shelter for
battered women on an Indian reservation in 1977 and has worked with energy
and determination to prevent domestic abuse, provide counseling and empower
women with the tools they need to succeed.

Frederick Charles Cuny:  For a lifetime of service to the civilian victims
of conflict and disaster.  From Africa to Central America, from Northern
Iraq to Southeast Asia, from the Balkans to the Caucasus, Fred Cuny worked
with vision, courage, sensitivity and compassion to relieve suffering and
rebuild lives.  The individuals he inspired and the humanitarian
organizations he established carry on his legacy of service today. (Mr.
Cuny?s son Craig Cuny will receive the award on behalf of his late father.)

Norman Dorsen:  For half a century, in landmark Supreme Court cases and
congressional hearings, as President of the American Civil Liberties Union
and Chairman of the Board of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, as an
attorney and an educator at the New York University School of Law, Norman
Dorsen has been a tenacious and outspoken defender of human rights, using
the power of law to uphold civil rights at home and human dignity around
the world.

Elaine R. Jones:  In almost three decades at the NAACP Legal Defense and
Educational Fund, Elaine Jones has committed herself to the pursuit of
equal justice for all.  As one of our Nation?s leading civil rights
attorneys and a vital force for change, she has represented the LDF in
landmark cases before the Supreme Court, promoted groundbreaking civil
rights legislation and widened the circle of opportunity for all Americans.

Most Reverend Theodore Edgar McCarrick:  Archbishop McCarrick has been a
lifelong human rights advocate.  Whether seeking justice for immigrants and
refugees, aiding the homeless and the hungry, championing religious freedom
or advocating debt relief for developing countries, he has sought to loosen
the bonds of fear, poverty and oppression and to affirm human dignity
wherever it is denied.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is American?s highest civilian honor,
created by President Truman to honor noble service in times of war and
expanded by President Kennedy to honor service in times of peace.

Aung San Suu Kyi: Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the world?s most prominent
figures in the struggle to advance democracy and human rights.  In response
to the tyranny and brutality of the military regime ruling her native
Burma, she has become a unifying voice for the oppressed, founding the
National League for Democracy and leading it to an electoral victory that
has never been honored by the Burmese government.  Despite enduring house
arrest, separation from her loved ones, and threats against her life, she
has refused to be silenced.  Her unwavering commitment to securing a free
Burma through nonviolent means is an inspiration to people around the
world.  (Alexander Aris will receive the medal on behalf of his mother.)

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