McGovern Rebuts Report of Trump Administration's So-Called "Commission on Unalienable Rights"

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and a leading congressional advocate for human rights at home and abroad, released his rebuttal to the draft report of the Trump administration’s Commission on Unalienable Rights. The congressman’s submission was joined by Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

“The Commission’s draft report is radically incomplete and thoroughly inadequate as a guide to human rights policy in the 21st century,” said McGovern. “The report is silent on non-discrimination, minority rights, and accountability for human rights abuses. It weakens religious freedom by trying to elevate it at the expense of all other rights. Incredibly, the report complains about a supposed ‘proliferation’ of human rights claims – apparently it’s a bad thing that people all over the world are defending their human dignity by demanding their human rights.

“Make no mistake,” Congressman McGovern continued. “This report is a dagger aimed at the heart of the international human rights movement. Its only value is that it has unleashed a long overdue debate about America’s unwillingness to hold itself to the same human rights standards we demand of every other country. As we confront our own history of racism and exclusion and witness the consequences of having militarized our police forces, I look forward to that debate.”

The Commission on Unalienable Rights was unveiled by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in July 2019 to provide advice and recommendations on international human rights matters.

A lawsuit pending in the Southern District of New York argues that it was created and has operated in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972.

Both the Congressman's rebuttal and a letter of support from Congresswoman Scanlon are available below under the related files tab.