This is a historic step forward for all Americans, a step toward a more perfect union and a more perfect reflection of our core values. As the President and I have repeatedly said, we are committed to universal standards abroad and here at home. Our progress on equality here strengthens our advocacy for human dignity everywhere.
In this speech to students and faculty at Georgetown University, Secretary Clinton set out the Obama Administration’s vision for human rights, democracy, and development, and described how they work together and with broader U.S. foreign policy. The address focused on four main components of the Administration’s human rights policy. First, the United States will encourage the development and enforcement of universal standards. To that end, the Secretary noted the steps the United States has taken to hold ourselves accountable, including prohibiting torture, reporting on human trafficking, and participating in the Universal Periodic Review. Second, the United States will be “pragmatic and agile” when promoting and protecting human rights, providing a tailored approach in bilateral and multilateral engagement. In addition, the United States will work with citizens and their communities to enact change. These activities include encouraging, supporting and protecting grassroots workers and other members of civil society, as well as using technology to reach out to individuals. Finally, the Secretary emphasized the broad focus that the Administration is taking regarding human rights. The U.S. government will advocate for human rights all over the world, including in places with repressive and authoritarian regimes. Read the full speech here.