On Thursday, February 27, 2014, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered remarks to the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. on the 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (HRRs).
Since 1977, the Department of State has been required to submit Human Rights reports to Congress. They now cover all United Nations member states and others in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Trade Act of 1974. Congress requires this information on the human rights situation so that it can take it into account in making policy decisions on assistance, trade, and other areas of the bilateral relationships.
The reports cover internationally recognized human rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements. The publication of the annual report reflects U.S. interest in, and support for, the advancement of human rights around the world. U.S. strength and prosperity are more secure in a world where governments protect rights and freedoms that are the birthright of all persons. The annual report highlights the importance of human rights to U.S. foreign policy and national security.
The United States takes its commitment to promoting respect for human rights seriously and views the annual Human Rights Report as an important part of that commitment. The report provides a snapshot of conditions in each country and includes extensive information that often informs U.S. policymaking. We report factually on human rights conditions and how they align with universal human rights, and we work hard to ensure that the reports meet high standards of accuracy and objectivity.
United States Embassy, Nassau
Caption: Official photo of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry