The Lantos Foundation was established to continue Tom Lantos' proud legacy as an ardent champion for human rights by carrying, in his words, "the noble banner of human rights to every corner of the world."
The Lantos Foundation proudly celebrates Religious Freedom as one of our core principles. We believe that all people must be allowed to practice and express their own religious view, or lack thereof, with impunity. As a Holocaust survivor, Tom Lantos knew that one's religion is integral to their being and the ability to practice that religion freely is a basic human right that must be vigilantly protected. While our work aims to protect people of all faiths, a good deal of our Religious Freedom efforts are focused on stemming the tide of anti-Semitism, particularly across the Middle East and Europe.
In 2015, the Lantos Foundation launched our signature Religious Freedom event, the Solidarity Sabbath. In its inaugural year, the Solidarity Sabbath brought together world leaders from 24 countries on a single day to express their support for the fight against anti-Semitism in Europe and North America. We envision the Solidarity Sabbath evolving each year to highlight the plights of other persecuted religions around the world.
The Lantos Foundation is committed to giving voice to global citizens living under brutal regimes that ignore basic rights and use ruthless tactics to maintain their power. By working to promote fairness, justice, and basic citizen protections, we believe that human rights at large are better protected and advanced. To date, our work has focused largely on China and Russia, providing platforms to prisoners and activists in both countries that help tell their stories in an unfiltered way and provide the attention necessary to exact change.
In the near future, the Lantos Foundation plans to launch an annual Rule of Law Lecture, where we intend to provide a prominent political dissident a safe, global platform to offer perspective on Rule of Law issues in his or her home country, the challenges those citizens face, and what can be done to bring productive change.
Given the role the global corporations play in modern society's everyday lives, the Lantos Foundation feels strongly that those entities be held accountable for the impact their operations have on citizens around the world and their basic human rights. It is no longer enough to hold only governments responsible for their citizens well-being when corporations can often hold the same amount of influence. We seek to encourage all businesses and business leaders to fully consider the human impact of their work, especially as it relates to basic human rights.
The idea of Corporate Responsibility grew out of a 2007 Congressional hearing in which then House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos scolded Internet executives for violating user privacy rights in authoritarian countries. These practices often resulted in the imprisonment of citizens seeking to use their voices to enact change. Given that background, the Lantos Foundation has a special focus on Internet freedom issues. We also desire to recognize good corporate actors and expose bad corporate actors in a public way.
The Lantos Foundation was formed to preserve the incredible legacy of the late Congressman Tom Lantos. His extraordinary life story saw his transformation from a precocious child, to a Holocaust survivor, to an outspoken voice against communism and economics professor, and finally, to a leading voice in Congress. Those experiences gave Tom a vision that shaped generations through his work in education, human rights, and public service. See below to learn more about the projects that further the legacy that Tom so boldy and bravely put forth: www.lantosfoundation.org.