Human Rights

United States Abstains for 1st Time on UNGA Resolution on Cuba Embargo

Ambassador Samantha Power: “Instead of isolating Cuba, as President Obama has repeatedly said, our policy isolated the United States… After 50-plus years of pursuing the path of isolation, we have chosen to take the path of engagement.”

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Combating Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Department of State’s Leadership During the Obama Administration

This fact sheet offers a snapshot of the State Department’s accomplishments in tackling the crime of modern slavery during the Obama Administration.

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U.S. Statement at the Special Session of the Human Rights Council on Aleppo


Theodore Allegra: Airstrikes by Russia and the Asad regime are the cause of this devastation, and they are the cause of this suffering…These shocking acts in Aleppo beg for an appropriate investigation and those who commit them must be held accountable.

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Release of the First Annual Report from the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking


On October 18, the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking unveiled its first annual report containing specific policy recommendations, providing the federal government with survivor-informed analysis to combat human trafficking.

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Fact Sheet: Key Outcomes of U.S. Priorities at the UN Human Rights Council’s 33rd Session


Although the United States is not a voting member of the UN Human Rights Council this year – taking a mandatory year off, while standing for election on October 28 for the 2017-2019 term – it is sustaining robust engagement in the Council and working with countries from all regions to address urgent human rights situations and issues. At the Council’s 33rd Session in Geneva from September 13-30, U.S. leadership proved critical to shaping the international community’s response to these challenges.

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Ambassador Harper: Closing Statement at the 33rd Session of the Human Rights Council

The United Nations Human Rights Council opened its 33rd Session today.  The U.S. Delegation, headed by Ambassador Keith Harper, looks forward to working with partners to highlight critical human rights siutations around the world.  

U.S. Mission Photo/Eric Bridiers

The U.S. congratulates the Council for the groundbreaking appointment of the independent expert on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Ambassador Harper: Statement at the General Debate on Technical Assistance & Cooperation

We note the High Commissioner’s recent report on Yemen. We are particularly concerned by the loss of life, damage to critical infrastructure, and disruption of humanitarian assistance caused by the conflict between the Government and the Houthis.

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Ambassador Harper: Statement on the Report of the Special Rapporteur for Cambodia

The United States expresses its appreciation for the report of the Special Rapporteur. We are pleased to see the successes cited in the report, including the meeting of Millennium Development Goals, sustained economic growth, and improvements in education and health care.

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Joint Statement on Venezuela at the Human Rights Council

We also share the concerns presented by the High Commissioner about the grave and repeated reports of repression of the voices of the opposition and members of the Venezuelan civil society, those of arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and use of excessive force against peaceful protesters and journalists; as we request the early release of persons arrested for political reasons.

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Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Somalia

Let me begin by affirming that the United States remains committed to supporting Somalia’s transition toward peace, prosperity, and democracy.

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