In this toolkit, we use the following terms:

Civil society groups” means all entities that are non-governmental in nature, including non-profit organizations, such as private and voluntary organizations, community and faith-based organizations, advocacy groups, business and trade associations, cooperatives, credit unions, labor unions, and philanthropic foundations; independent media, educational, academic, scientific and research institutions; and private enterprises.

Fundamental freedoms” means the freedoms of thought, conscience and religion, opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association.

Human rights” means the rights set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is generally agreed to be the foundation of international human rights law.  Among these are the rights, within the United States and globally:

  • to life, liberty, and security of person;
  • to equal protection before the law, regardless of race, color, sex, language, religion, or national or social origin;
  • to freedom from slavery, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and arbitrary arrest, detention or exile;
  • to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state, as well as to leave any country.

Member” means a U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator.

Rights and freedoms” means fundamental freedoms and human rights, as defined above.