Published: Sun, April 22, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Korea 'force of instability' over human rights abuses

Korea 'force of instability' over human rights abuses

In the "coercion in population control" section, the report said that China enforces "a coercive birth-limitation policy that in some cases included sterilization or abortions". Reports of the omission of key passages pertaining to sexual and reproductive rights, women's rights and the rights of marginalized populations, combined with the Administration's deference to known human rights violators like the governments of Saudi Arabia and Turkey, make us skeptical that these reports present a full picture of human rights around the world.

State Department officials said the phrase increasingly became viewed as a loaded term in the United States, with both opponents and supporters of legalized abortion viewing it as a code word for abortion.

"That - correct, under the previous administration and this one and the one before that".

The U.S. has never taken a position on whether there is a right to an abortion because there's no internationally recognized standard, Kozak added - but there is one that no one should be forced to have an abortion or be sterilized, and that's what the reports are meant to target. "Protection and advocacy of human rights is the heart of American values. It was to stop using a term that has several different meanings that are not all the ones we intend". Human Rights Watch pointed out that the report is silent on the obstacles many women face in countries from Bolivia to Poland to Nepal on reproductive issues.

Another change that has drawn attention and berating from critics of Israel is the department stopped using the phrase Occupied Territories to describe Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank, according to the Post. David M. Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel and a supporter of the settlement movement, has urged the State Department to drop the term.

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"The governments of China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, for example, violate the human rights of those within their borders on a daily basis and are forces of instability as a result", acting Secretary of State John Sullivan said in an introduction to the reports - one for each country and territory in the world.

"In conclusion, let me say America leads the way globally to promote human rights", Sullivan said. But this year the report said: "There were no reports of egregious human rights abuses".

It finds that Americans are most downbeat about the relationship with Russian Federation.

One example: Last year's report cited several "human rights problems" in Japan, most notably "lack of due process for detention of suspects and poor prison and detention center conditions".

The State Department is mandated by Congress to produce a report with human rights information on every country annually.

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