Secretary Of State Pompeo Highlights Property Rights, Religious Freedom As Major Principals For U.S. Human Rights Policies In Speech Releasing Draft Report Of Commission On Unalienable Rights

AP: Pompeo says U.S. should limit which human rights it defends
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued Thursday for a more limited U.S. view of global human rights advocacy based on the principals laid out by America’s Founding Fathers, a suggestion critics assumed meant stepping away from more modern concepts such as support for women and the LGBQT communities around the world. Pompeo, speaking in Philadelphia, singled out property rights and religious freedom as ‘foremost’ principals in a speech that elsewhere complained about the ‘proliferation’ of protections in international agreements related to human rights…” (Fox, 7/16).

The Hill: Pompeo attacks media, monument protests in speech on human rights
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday attacked the media as promoting Chinese propaganda and criticized the U.S.’s national reckoning on racism in remarks unveiling the State Department’s first report on the Commission on Unalienable Rights. The commission, meant to establish a foundational text for how the U.S. defines human rights, has been criticized as creating a blueprint to ignore modern understandings of women’s reproductive rights and protections for LGBTQ individuals…” (Kelly, 7/16).

New York Times: Pompeo Says Human Rights Policy Must Prioritize Property Rights and Religion
“… ‘It’s important for every American, and for every American diplomat, to recognize how our founders understood unalienable rights,’ Mr. Pompeo said. ‘Foremost among these rights are property rights and religious liberty.’ Human rights scholars have criticized Mr. Pompeo’s panel since its inception, noting it was filled with conservatives who were intent on promoting views against abortion and marriage equality. Critics also warned that it sidestepped the State Department’s internal bureau responsible for promoting human rights abroad…” (Verma, 7/16).

POLITICO: Pompeo rolls out a selective vision of human rights
“…The initial responses to the speech and draft report landed around expected lines, with conservative organizations praising it and liberal-leaning groups — as well some prominent international human rights groups — questioning its value. … Pompeo said the commission’s work was critical because the U.S. and the world need a rethink of human rights policy. One reason for that, he said, is that activists have created new categories of rights, and that the world could lose perspective on what are truly core, fundamental rights. … Pompeo didn’t spend much time in his speech detailing what rights matter more than others, aside from placing property rights and religious freedom at the top of the heap…” (Toosi, 7/16).

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