This State Department report gives a country-by-country account of the state of civil, political, individual, and worker rights, as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The introduction states,
"These reports will inform U.S. government policymaking and serve as a reference for other governments, intergovernmental institutions, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), human rights defenders, and journalists. United States foreign policy revolves not only around effective defense, but also robust diplomacy and vigorous support for political and economic development. A vigorous human rights policy reaffirms American values and advances our national interests. As President Obama stated in his inaugural address: "America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity...", but to "those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
Since the days of our own nation's founding, we have endeavored to correct injustices and fully promote respect for fundamental freedoms for all of our citizens. These efforts have been spurred and sustained by an accountable, democratic system of government, the rule of law, a vibrant free media, and, most important of all, the civic activism of our citizenry.
As we publish these reports, the Department of State remains mindful of both domestic and international scrutiny of the United States' record. As President Obama recently made clear, "we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals." We do not consider views about our performance voiced by others in the international community--whether by other governments or nongovernmental actors--to be interference in our internal affairs, nor should other governments regard expressions about their performance as such. We and all other sovereign nations have international obligations to respect the universal human rights and freedoms of our citizens, and it is the responsibility of others to speak out when they believe those obligations are not being fulfilled."