Thursday, March 11, 2010

Trends Identified in the 2009 US State Department Country Report on Human Rights

In addition to highlighting the growing abuse of the LGBT community worldwide, the U.S. State Department identified at least three trends in its 2009 Country Report on Human Rights Practices.

First, the State Department pointed out that several foreign governments are becoming less tolerant of nongovernmental human rights organizations. These governments are trying to constrain the ability of these NGOs to register and to operate, as well as their ability to receive foreign funding. According to the U.S. State Department, at least 25 governments have enacted new laws or regulations that contain such restrictions. 

Second, increasingly, human rights violations are carried out both by governments and by armed groups opposing them.  Some governments misuse or overuse concepts of national security to impose draconian restrictions on people.  But the U.S. State Department concedes that, at the same time, those national security emergencies are real in many places.

A third trend is the growing use by both activists and governments of the new communications media, such as the Internet and telephone text messaging, as a form of advocacy.  Activists are using it to get their message out, but governments are also very aware of the power of these new media and are trying to control it and control those using it in ways that are troubling and invasive of personal privacy.

(cgb)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/international_law/2010/03/trends-identified-in-the-2009-us-state-department-country-report-on-human-rights.html

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