The over-emphasis on human rights multilateralism, despite its paltry results (not to mention the expanding range of human rights claims), has undermined faith in those standards and, indeed, faith in the idea of human rights itself.
Obama delivered his final United Nations speech, challenging people to contemplate the successes of the previous eight years. Yet, while providing admirable aspirations for a world slipping into chaos, Obama failed to provide a vision of U.S. leadership that would address the oncoming challenges.
Samuel Moyn’s Christian Human Rights argues that human rights should not be associated exclusively with the secular liberal left and liberal politics when the Christian right was historically involved with this project.
Obama should address human rights challenges in his private meetings with Laotian government officials. More specifically, Obama should reiterate U.S. government calls for an investigation into the enforced disappearance of decorated Laotian rural community leader, Sombath Somphone.
As Recep Tayyip Erdogan steers Turkey further away from liberal democracy and ever closer to authoritarianism, we’re reminded of just how often President Obama has picked the wrong partners and chosen the wrong direction on the world stage.