HUMAN RIGHTS

May. 17, 2021

On the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
05/16/2021 07:08 PM EDT

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

This year’s May 17 marks 16 years since the first International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB). In the intervening period, the United States has endeavored to reaffirm the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex persons. To be sure, we have encountered challenges and setbacks in our path toward inclusion, and our work is not yet complete.

The message of “Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!” is especially poignant as this year’s IDAHOTB theme. Ending hatred and violence against LGBTQI+ persons requires collaborative action from us all. The United States is doing its part. Within the first weeks of his administration, President Biden issued a Memorandum instructing all U.S. federal agencies working abroad to “ensure that U.S. diplomatic efforts and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons.” And that important work is well underway.

The United States is prioritizing efforts in several key areas: combatting criminalization of LGBTQI+ status or conduct; protecting vulnerable LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers; providing funding to protect human rights and advance nondiscrimination; responding to human rights abuses of LGBTQI+ persons; and building coalitions and engaging international organizations in the fight against LGBTQI+ discrimination. Working together, we can create a world that respects and celebrates the dignity of all individuals. It is in partnership that we will achieve our goal of a rights-respecting, inclusive society where no one lives in fear because of who they are or whom they love.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone is entitled to human rights and fundamental freedoms. In celebrating the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex persons worldwide, the United States re-affirms this shared value: Everyone deserves to live in dignity.

Mar. 22, 2021

Promoting Accountability for Human Rights Abuse with Our Partners
03/22/2021 12:08 PM EDT

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Today, the United States, in unity with our partners, is imposing sanctions against Wang Junzheng, the Secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) and Chen Mingguo, Director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB) under the Global Magnitsky sanctions program. We are doing so in response to serious human rights abuse against members of ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.

Wang Junzheng and Chen Mingguo are being designated pursuant to Executive Order 13818 in connection with the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) appalling abuses in Xinjiang. Wang is being designated for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the XPCC. Chen is being designated for being a foreign person who is a leader or an official of the XPSB, which has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse related to Chen’s tenure.

Amid growing international condemnation, the PRC continues to commit genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang. The United States reiterates its calls on the PRC to bring an end to the repression of Uyghurs, who are predominantly Muslim, and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang, including by releasing all those arbitrarily held in internment camps and detention facilities.

We have taken this action today in solidarity with our partners in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union. As part of their actions today, our partners also sanctioned human rights abusers in connection with the atrocities occurring in Xinjiang and other countries. These actions demonstrate our ongoing commitment to working multilaterally to advance respect for human rights and shining a light on those in the PRC government and CCP responsible for these atrocities.

The United States is committed to playing a strong leadership role in global efforts to combat serious human rights abuse, through the Global Magnitsky sanctions program and similar efforts. Targeted sanctions, including against those who violate or abuse human rights, are an important tool to discourage malign actors and promote accountability

The United States applauds the EU’s broader human rights sanctions action today. We welcome the EU’s use of this powerful tool to promote accountability for human rights abuse on a global scale. A united transatlantic response sends a strong signal to those who violate or abuse international human rights, and we will take further actions in coordination with likeminded partners. We will continue to stand with our allies around the world in calling for an immediate end to the PRC’s crimes and for justice for the many victims.

Mar. 9, 2021
Jan. 19, 2021