Sins of Omission

Women's and LGBTI rights reporting under the Trump administration

Women’s rights and the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, and intersex (LGBTI) persons are human rights, but they are getting short shrift in the US government’s most prominent assessments of human rights under the Trump administration. In February 2018, the media reported that State Department officials had been ordered to cut back on discussions of women’s rights and issues, such as reproductive rights and violence against women, as well as on discussions of sexual and gender-based discrimination in human rights assessments. An analysis of the data suggests that this order has been heeded. Under the Trump administration, the US State Department is de-emphasizing reporting on women’s rights and issues, especially in the countries that generate asylum petitions and have the greatest gender inequality.

This report includes a comparison of the 2017 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices—the first iteration of reports compiled under the Trump Administration—with the 2016 and 2015 reports. The end of the report (starting on page 10) includes an update with comparisons of the 2018 reports with the 2017 and 2016 reports. The results of the comparisons of these reports are overall less stark, but the concerning trends in the reduction of attention to the rights of women and LGBTI populations have continued.



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