U.S. State Department Should Report Thoroughly On All Human Rights Abuses, Including Child Marriage, Opinion Piece Says
The Hill: Whose human rights count? Trump administration deemphasizes abuse of women and girls
Rachel Clement, policy advocate at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
“Every year, the State Department delivers a series of country-level human rights reports. … [U]nderplayed in this year’s report is one of the greatest human rights violations against girls: Child marriage. … There is a decades-long history of human rights reporting from administrations on both sides of the aisle. These reports have most certainly reflected the foreign policy priorities of each administration. It is telling, then, that this administration chose to ‘streamline’ sections focusing on gender, reproductive health, or LGBTQ rights. The administration should return to reporting robustly on child marriage as a human right abuse. While each report is important on its own, it is important to be able to follow progress (or regression) over time. While no country has a perfect human rights record, neither do countries like to be named and shamed in these reports. In order for the reports to carry any weight they must not only be written, they must be leveraged. Furthermore, the U.S. congress should continue to use their oversight role to push the Department of State to report on all human rights, not just the ones that happen to be politically expedient. They should also allocate funding to empower girls and address the problem of child marriage at home and abroad” (4/10).