24 May 2012

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011

The U.S. Department of State released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices today.  Some 200 countries are surveyed in this year's edition.  Several changes in the production and format are described as follows:

This year, we made the human rights reports easier to read online. Readers can jump directly to topics of interest with a new table of contents, share reports on social media, and research topics across countries with the Build a Report tool. Our goal is to allow readers to gather information quickly across regions on the issues that most interest them.
We have also attempted to make the reports more accessible to a broader spectrum of readers. Over the past 35 years, the length of the human rights reports had expanded... . This year, we have developed a streamlined format for each country report. As a result, we do not attempt to catalog every incidence, however egregious, of a particular type of human rights abuse in a country. Rather, we spotlight examples that typify and illuminate the types of problems frequently reported in 2011 in that country. The mention of fewer cases in a particular report should not be interpreted as a lessening of concern for the overall human rights situation in any particular country. Rather, our goal is to shed light on the nature, scope, and severity of the reported human rights abuses. For the first time, we have also added an executive summary at the top of each report.

Previous editions can be accessed via my wiki.

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