The U.S. State Department published the “2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices” on March 20, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken offering brief remarks about the report during a press conference.

“Human rights are universal. They aren’t defined by any one country, philosophy, or region.  They apply to everyone, everywhere,” Secretary Blinken said. “The goal of this report is not to lecture or to shame. Rather, it is to provide a resource for those individuals working around the world to safeguard and uphold human dignity when it’s under threat in so many ways.”

There are 198 nations included in the State Department’s annual publication, with details about each country’s record on human rights summarized in individual reports. Secretary Blinken lamented that the report reveals how “we continued to see a backsliding in human rights conditions – the closing of civic space, disrespect for fundamental human dignity.”

In the report’s preface, Secretary Blinken called attention to human rights violations in several nations, including Russia (invading Ukraine), Iran (abuses by the nation’s “morality police”), the People’s Republic of China (genocide against Uyghurs) and Burma / Myanmar (genocide against Rohingya). Many of these countries were also mentioned in his remarks during the March 20 press conference.

Each country report provides an executive summary of the findings, which highlights more significant human rights violations and abuses. Following the summary, each report provides more detailed information on human rights within the nation, organized into the following categories:

  • Respect for the Integrity of the Person
  • Respect for Civil Liberties
  • Freedom to Participate in the Political Process
  • Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government
  • Governmental Posture Towards International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Abuses of Human Rights
  • Discrimination and Societal Abuses
  • Worker Rights

While violations of religious freedom can appear in multiple sections of the country reports, the primary space for detailing such abuses are the “freedom of expression” and “freedom of religion” portions of the “respect for civil liberties” section.

This year’s report also includes “enhanced reporting” about conversion therapy practices, as well as other relevant data related to discrimination and abuse against LGBTQI individuals, following President Biden’s June 15, 2022, executive order.

“The Department of State prepared this report using information from U.S. embassies and consulates abroad, foreign government officials, nongovernmental and international organizations, jurists and legal experts, journalists, academics, labor activists, and published reports. U.S. diplomatic missions abroad prepared the initial drafts of the individual country reports,” the report explains in Appendix H.

The 2022 country reports are available here. Secretary Blinken’s remarks are available here.

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