The 2020 country reports on human rights practices

The 2020 edition of the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices was released by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. The report is available at https://www.state.gov/reports/2020-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/.

For decades, the State Department has worked with countries around the world to strengthen respect for human rights globally. This commitment reflects core American values and internationally recognized standards of human rights applicable to all countries. These values and standards are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, documents to which both Liberia and the United States are signatories.

Societies that respect and defend human rights and fundamental freedoms, democratic institutions, and the rule of law are more stable and secure. Promoting and protecting human rights at home and abroad is a priority that furthers our national interests of stability and democracy. The United States does not claim to have all the answers; we recognize that we have work to do as well and the will to do it. We are committed to the goals of our founding principles and to creating a fairer and more just society, and believe we are strengthened by debate on how best to achieve these goals. We welcome honest conversations with governments and the public across the globe on these issues in the United States and other countries.

About the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

The Secretary of State is required by law to submit an annual report to the U.S. Congress on “the status of internationally recognized human rights” in all countries that are members of the United Nations. This annual report, called the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices but commonly known as the Human Rights Report (HRR), provides information that is used by Congress, the Executive Branch, and courts in making policies and/or decisions; thus accurate information on human rights conditions is critical. The HRR also informs the work at home and abroad of civil society, human rights defenders, lawmakers, scholars, immigration judges and asylum officers, multilateral institutions, and other governments.

The country reports are prepared by U.S. diplomatic missions around the world, which collect, analyze, and synthesize information from a variety of sources, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the media. The reports do not attempt to catalog every human rights-related incident, nor are they an effort by the U.S. government to judge others. Instead, they are factual in nature and focus on a one-year period, but they may include illustrative cases from previous reporting years.

U.S. history and recent events reflect our nation’s constant mission toward improving our democracy. Our foreign policy is no different. We are committed to promoting the human rights and fundamental freedoms we all share as human beings.