27 February 2014

State Department releases annual human rights reports; now needs to walk the talk

Today, the U.S. State Department released its annual country-by-country reports on human rights practices around the world.

Five themes were highlighted as particularly noteworthy:

• Increased crackdowns on civil society and the freedoms of association and assembly

• Restrictions on freedom of speech and press freedom

• Accountability deficits for security forces abuses

• Lack of effective labor rights protections

• The continued marginalization of vulnerable groups

It's good to see these issues exposed in detail by our government.

In some cases, however, seeing the U.S. judge other countries' human rights abuses looks somewhat like the proverbial pot calling the kettle black. (Consider, for example, our own ongoing history of extrajudicial killings.) And there is no section for the U.S. itself.

The reports show that the State Department can talk the talk. Now it needs to make an extra effort to walk the walk.

>> Browse the reports.

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