Tuesday, July 17, 2018
In June, the co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress sent a letter to the Trump Administration asking that it reconsider U.S. withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council. Once the withdrawal was announced, the co-chairs, Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Randy Hultgren (R-IL), issued a press release to express their deep regret over the move. According to Representative Hultgren,
“Leading in the area of human rights has been a part of our history and legacy since World War II. The United States should continue to set an example by using its influence to strengthen a council in need of moral clarity amid confusion. Historically, we've made a positive impact at the U.N., and we should continue to do so by engaging and building positive relations among member nations.”
The Tom Lantos Commission is the only body in the U.S. Congress that focuses its work on human rights.
Historically, the Lantos Commission focuses on human rights issues outside of the U.S. This comment on U.S. withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council is a rare intervention into U.S. human rights policy, indicating that there is a deep bi-partisan concern about the U.S. executive's decision.