23 April 2018

News: 2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

The U.S. Department of State released the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017 on Friday. Here is the blurb from the DipNote blog:

"The Human Rights Reports document the status of human rights and worker rights in nearly 200 countries and territories. They are required by U.S. law and are used by a variety of actors, including the U.S. Congress, the Executive branch, and the Judicial branch as a factual resource for decision making in matters ranging from assistance to asylum.
   The United States was founded on the belief that every person is endowed with inalienable rights. Promoting and defending these rights is central to who we are as a country and is a foreign policy priority.
   The State Department hopes these reports will help other governments and civil society activists reflect on the human rights situation in their respective countries, reinforcing the importance of promoting individual rights and inclusion for all on a global basis."

See also the remarks made by the Acting Secretary of State, a transcript of the press briefing and a transcript of a briefing at the Washington Foreign Press Center.

The reports have been met with criticism from human rights groups for certain changes and omissions; see below for further info:
- "Human Rights Groups Bristling at State Department Report," Foreign Policy, 21 April 2018 [text]
- Trump Administration Undermines State Department's Human Rights Report (Amnesty International, April 2018) [text]
- "Trump Administration's First Human Rights Report Sparks Fierce Criticism," ABC News, 20 April 2018 [text]

In addition, Human Rights Watch has a Twitter thread noting a number of gaps.

Tagged Publications. 

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