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Advancing Liberty and Democratic Freedoms

(FILE) Children stand near the fence of a damaged house with the words "Children and people" in Ukraine.

The Kremlin’s war against Ukraine underscores the need to hold to account those who commit unconscionable abuses, including against children, said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Advancing Liberty and Democratic Freedoms
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The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices address the status of internationally recognized human rights in all countries that are members of the United Nations. These reports support the U.S. goal of advancing individual liberty and democratic freedoms around the world and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which this year celebrates its 75th anniversary.

Adopted in 1948, the Universal Declaration “marked the first time in history that we had a shared global vision to promote a peaceful future of all nations by advancing the human rights. . .of everyone everywhere,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Erin Barclay in a recent briefing.

“Today,” she said, “this truth beats in the hearts of people around the world, who in the face of injustice and oppression courageously call upon governments to respect the exercise of human rights and the fundamental freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and religion or belief.”

The United States stands in solidarity with human rights defenders as well as with members of marginalized groups, who are often denied equal protection under the law and targeted for violence, including women and girls; those belonging to marginalized racial, ethnic, Indigenous communities, including people of African descent, religious minority groups; LGBTQI+ persons, and persons with disabilities.

As Secretary Blinken pointed out, the Kremlin’s brutal continued war against Ukraine underscores the need to hold to account those who commit unconscionable abuses, including against children.

“The egregious and repeated abuses Russia’s forces continue to commit in Ukraine are far from the only abuses perpetrated in 2022 by governments and other malign actors across the globe,” noted Acting Assistant Secretary Barclay.

Disinformation and misinformation around the globe further threaten democracy and human rights, and one contribution the Human Rights Report makes is to bring facts to the table. The report’s annual publication also makes clear the priority the United States places year-round on advancing human dignity and freedom, and reiterates our commitment to these issues in all countries, no matter whether they are partners or adversaries, said Acting Assistant Secretary Barclay.

The administration of President Joe Biden has put human rights and democracy at the center of its foreign policy, and the human rights reports continue to play an integral role in shining a spotlight on abuses wherever and however they are committed and holding perpetrators to account.