It has not been a promising start for the Obama administration in the area of human rights. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did the most damage with comments during her recent trip to Asia that could not have been more demoralizing to human rights defenders in China and around the world. Following her trip, Clinton missed an opportunity during the State Department’s rollout of the annual Human Rights Report to restore the administration’s credibility on the freedom and human rights agenda. And the administration’s determination to engage in multilateral fora in contrast to the Bush administration keeps it from making a clear, final decision to boycott the April UN Conference Against Racism, known as Durban II.
A Poor Start: Human Rights and the New Administration
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