Secretary of State Antony Blinken diverted from the Trump administration’s human rights approach as he unveiled the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.
Trump-era human rights policy under former Sec. Mike Pompeo had sought to prioritize human rights in line with U.S. founding principles, such as religious freedom.
“One of the core principles of human rights is that they are universal. All people are entitled to these rights, no matter where they’re born, what they believe, whom they love, or any other characteristic,” Blinken said. “Human rights are also co-equal; there is no hierarchy that makes some rights more important than others.
“Past unbalanced statements that suggest such a hierarchy, including those offered by a recently disbanded State Department advisory committee, do not represent a guiding document for this administration,” he said. “At my confirmation hearing, I promised that the Biden-Harris Administration would repudiate those unbalanced views. We do so decisively today.”
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