Human Rights First welcomes State Dept. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
WASHINGTON – Each year, the U.S. Department of State releases reports on the state of human rights in nations around the world, highlighting pressing concerns that the United States intends to raise as part of diplomatic relations. These reports often spell out the U.S. administration’s international human rights priorities. Human Rights First welcomed the reports, released on Tuesday.
Human Rights First President and CEO Mike Breen gave the following statement:
“Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday reaffirmed the new administration’s commitment to placing human rights at the center of U.S. foreign policy.
“Secretary Blinken’s rejection of any hierarchy among human rights is a welcome change from the previous administration’s insinuations that some rights – especially the rights of LGBTQ persons – were second order, as opposed to being part of the bedrock of universal human rights that are guaranteed to all.
“We also support the decision to restore the coverage of reproductive rights in the Human Rights Reports and regret that the previous administration’s inattention to reporting on those issues was profound enough that now the State Department will need additional weeks to cover them in a supplement to this year’s reports.
“Secretary Blinken clearly laid out the challenge that awaits the new administration and the standard against which its record will be judged: working to defend human rights whether those committing abuses or subverting the rule of law are U.S. partners or adversaries.
“We look forward to working with our partners in civil society, Congress, and the Biden administration to ensure that the United States speaks candidly when human rights are abused, uses the Global Magnitsky sanctions program and other tools at its disposal to promote accountability, and stands with those who take great risks to defend these rights.”