Giving Compass' Take:
- Amnesty International's report indicated that COVID-19 and pre-existing concerns from the Trump presidency contributed to the deterioration of human rights in 2020.
- What can donors do throughout the next year to improve and address some of the larger human rights concerns and support grassroots organizers also working on these issues?
- Despite the negative trends in human rights, there were some bright spots in the report.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
The situation of human rights in the United States deteriorated further in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic and the presidency of Donald Trump exacerbated pre-existing rights concerns while the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality exposed widespread racism, according to a new report on global human rights by Amnesty International released Tuesday.
The report lists 15 human rights areas of concern in the US, including unlawful killings of civilians, LGBTQ rights and the right to peaceful assembly.
“Our history is built on our Bill of Rights and the First Amendment … that guarantees the right to peaceful assembly, free speech and free expression”, Joanne Lin, Amnesty’s national advocacy director, told Al Jazeera.
“But as we have seen in our own country, those rights can be placed in great peril and are often under tremendous assault, especially during times of crisis.”
The report says the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused lockdowns – resulting in widespread job loss – and an “[i]nadequate and uneven government responses” that had a “disproportionate and discriminatory impact on many people based on their race, socioeconomic situations and other characteristics.”
The pandemic also hit those incarcerated in the US, who are disproportionately people of colour, “due to insanitary conditions in prisons and detention where they were unable to adequately physically distance and had inadequate access to hygienic supplies”.
The report focuses on 2020, the last year of former President Donald Trump’s term of office. The report says the “Trump administration’s broadly dismal human rights record, both at home and abroad, deteriorated further during 2020.”
Amnesty notes that at least 1,000 people were killed by police firearms and that publicly available data suggests the killings disproportionately affect Black people.
“Hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity remained high in 2019 for a fifth consecutive year. Trans women of colour were especially targeted for violent hate crimes and killings”, the report says, citing the released data.
Read the full article about human rights at Aljazeera.