I applaud the State Department for announcing today the formation of a Commission on Unalienable Rights. The Commission will advise Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on how to advocate for human rights in international diplomacy according to America's founding principles.
With today's announcement President Trump's State Department has taken a historic, meaningful step in advancing human rights around the world. The rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, the freedoms of religion, speech, and assembly, and other principles upon which our nation was founded are not merely American rights; they are human rights that we are compelled to protect and promote for all people of all nationalities. It is encouraging to see the United States take such a strong leadership role in promoting these unalienable rights around the world.
For decades, the international consensus on human rights has been eroded, as human rights abusers like China, Iran, and Cuba have wormed their way onto “human rights commissions” in their search for international legitimacy. The world's worst actors have used international platforms to shape policy on an issue of dignity that they neither value nor practice. Other special interest groups have sought to expand the definition of a “human right” to include virtually anything. If everything is a human right, then the term begins to have little meaning.
Most importantly, this commission will help further the protection of religious freedom, which is the foundation for all other human rights, and one which every government has a moral obligation to protect. In light of the increasing attacks on religious freedom around the world today, this comes as especially good news.
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.