HRE USA Statement on US Withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council

HRE USA joins its partner organizations in their shared concern over the recent announcement that the US has withdrawn the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council.

HRE USA Statement on US Withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council

Human Rights Educators USA is founded on the belief that human rights can only be achieved through an informed society that is aware of and makes a conscious commitment to the fundamental values of human rights and democracy. Those values include equality and fairness, being able to recognize problems such as racism, sexism, and other injustices as violations of those values, and the common responsibility to make human rights a reality for all.

Therefore, we are deeply disappointed in the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Despite its flaws, the Human Rights Council is still the premier intergovernmental body at the global level.Until now, the United States has played a vital role in its deliberations and it has been the principal means through which the U.S. wields its influence within the global human rights movement. By withdrawing, the Trump administration denies Americans their opportunity to fully engage with the rest of the world in the important work of advancing human rights at home and abroad. We urge the administration to reconsider its decision, or, failing that, release a statement reaffirming its commitment to honoring its international human rights obligations.

The decision to withdraw is both counterproductive to national security and foreign policy interests and also sends a dangerous message to the international community that the United States does not intend to collaborate with others in the international community to address current and future global human rights violations or uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as it approaches its 70th anniversary this December.

As Human Rights Watch states, “by walking away, the US is turning its back not just on the UN, but on victims of human rights abuses around the world, including in Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Myanmar. Now other governments will have to redouble their efforts to ensure that the council addresses the world’s most serious human rights problems.”

Furthermore, this decision comes at a time when the United States itself is engaged in horrific human rights violations regarding the separation of migrant families at the border. Currently nearly 1,500 children are being held in a warehouse facility, as they await their futures with great uncertainty, separated from their loved ones. HRE USA condemns these blatant human rights violations.

Now, as ever, HRE USA remains committed to promoting human dignity, justice, and peace by cultivating an expansive, vibrant base of support for human rights education (HRE) within the United States and supporting educators in their efforts to equip students in becoming compassionate, aware, responsible and reflective citizens with respect for the essential rights of all.

Partner organizations who have also issued statements include:

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