Amnesty International Media Statement
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Amnesty International Says DOS Country Reports Need to Be More Comprehensive
Human rights organization welcomes expanded reporting on discrimination and press freedom, but says that reports fail to provide a comprehensive assessment of economic, social, and cultural rights.
(Washington, DC) – Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA executive director, issued the following statement in response to today’s U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) release of its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices:
“Amnesty International welcomes the Obama administration’s first full contribution to assess the human rights performance of governments around the world, and in particular, the Country Reports’ expanded coverage of press freedoms and discrimination against vulnerable groups.
“However, for a thorough assessment of global human rights, the Country Reports should be more comprehensive and include all rights, not only civil and political, but also economic, social, and cultural rights. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the document from which these reports take their inspiration, includes all of the above.
“Just a few months ago, in setting out the Obama administration’s human rights agenda for the 21st Century, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rightly stated that to make human rights a reality, people must be free not only from the oppression of tyranny’ but also from the oppression of want. She further noted that the measure of success should be whether people around the world are better able to enjoy these rights as a result of the United States’ actions.
“Change will require more than just rhetoric. Taking a more comprehensive approach to the Country Reports’ assessments can and should be the first step in making these powerful words a reality in U.S foreign policy.