RELEASE: 5 Ways the United States Can Strengthen Global Human Rights After Trump

Washington, D.C. — As the U.S. State Department’s controversial Commission on Unalienable Rights holds its first meeting today, a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress offers a forward-looking approach to human rights aimed at restoring U.S. credibility on human rights issues and strengthening global human rights institutions.

The brief notes that the Trump administration’s approach to promoting and defending human rights abroad has at various points appeared driven by indifference, malice, incompetence, or some combination of the three. One example is the new commission, many of whose members hold extreme views on LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights.

But there are steps that a future administration can take to restore the United States as a respected voice on human rights issues. These include recommitting to new and existing human rights institutions, depoliticizing human rights advocacy, defending vulnerable populations, expanding the definition of human rights, and leading by example at home.

“The Trump administration’s policies and rhetoric have profoundly compromised the United States’ ability to effectively advocate for a global human rights agenda,” said Trevor Sutton, a fellow for National Security and International Policy at CAP and co-author of the brief. “The next administration should adopt a robust and expansive vision for human rights at home and abroad that sets an example for the world.”

Read the issue brief: “Taking the High Ground: 5 Ways the United States Can Strengthen Global Human Rights After Trump” by Trevor Sutton and Carolyn Kenney

For more information on this topic or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at or 202-478-6327.