Human Rights First coalition

Members of faith-based groups, the Senate, and other human rights groups sent a strong message urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to dismantle the Commission on Unalienable Rights. Hundreds have come out against this commission.

The goal of the commission is to sift through the rights guaranteed in past laws and declarations, such as the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights to determine what constitutes a human right. In some ways, this committee could end up deciding the United States’ future stances on certain rights as they pertain to specific groups. The primary worry of the individuals that have come out against this committee is that there will be decisions made on the rights of the most vulnerable groups in the country.

For example, the human rights and legal rights of immigrants that wish to seek asylum in a country after being forced to flee their own could be tabled by this committee. Depending on the makeup of the committee, this could result in groups being cut off from their human rights because it doesn’t consider them ‘true’ unalienable rights.

A combined letter representing almost 200 human rights groups was sent on July 23.

“The Commission’s chair and members are overwhelmingly clergy or scholars known for extreme positions opposing LGBTQI and reproductive rights, and some have taken public stances in support of indefensible human rights violations,” read the letter.

Certain groups are going to have their rights regarded as trifles and dealt with in the same manner by the committee’s definitions of inalienable rights. Some groups, like the LGBT+, could face more difficulty obtaining such protections as a result of the committee.

So far, the State Department has not issued any statements regarding the call for the committee to be abolished. With so many of the largest civil rights groups, theologians, and more coming out against the committee, a lack of a response on the matter would be quite telling. For now, all the groups wait with bated breath for the first meetings to occur.

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