Why Pompeo’s Commission on Unalienable Rights Is Wrong

My latest opinion piece, published on The Advocates Post.

The Advocates Post

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeorecently unveiled thedraft reportof theCommission on Unalienable Rights(Commission).During theevent at the National Constitution Center inPhiladelphia(“a place intentionally chosen”, even if it iscurrently closed to the public),Secretary Pompeo gave a speech entitled“Unalienable Rights and the Securing of Freedom”.

“And it’s important – it’s important for every American, for every American diplomat, torecognize how our founders understood unalienable rights. As you’ll see when you get a chance to read this report, the report emphasizes foremost among these rights are property rights and religious liberty.” – Secretary Pompeo, July 16, 2020


When reading the draftreport, itisimportant to rememberthatthe Commissionisa political body createdbySecretaryPompeoto perform averyspecific, politicalfunction:to createan officialU.S. State Departmentdocumentthatreflects his own viewof human rights,narrowing the definition tounderminefundamental principles ofinternationalhuman rights lawandbacktrackonU.S. foreignpolicyobjectivesthatprovideprotectionsfor historically marginalized groups,includingwomen, racial and ethnic minorities, and the LGBTQI community(human rights whichSecretary Pompeo has called“ad hoc” rights).


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