Donald Trump's alleged human rights abuses are being tracked by one of the world's best legal institutions

'His administration immediately threatened women’s rights, immigrants’ rights, and indigenous rights, and so many more' says Human Rights Law Review editor, Julia Sherman 

Will Worley
Monday 06 February 2017 19:22
Donald Trump's assault on human rights 'blindsided' us, say lawyers
Donald Trump's assault on human rights 'blindsided' us, say lawyers

Alleged human rights abuses by Donald Trump's new administration are being recorded in detail by a new internet tool created one of America's most prestigious universities.

The "Trump Human Rights Tracker" was designed by the Human Rights Law Review (HRLR), a journal produced by Columbia University, which sits among most highly respected legal institutions in the world.

After it launched last week, global interest in in the tool was so great that its server crashed.

"As soon as Trump became President, his administration immediately threatened women’s rights, immigrants’ rights, and indigenous rights, and so many more,” Julia Sherman, HRLR editor, told The Independent.

Judge James Robart blocks Trump's travel ban

“We felt that we were being blindsided. So we designed the Trump Human Rights Tracker to monitor the full scope of human rights being attacked in a way that would be easy for everyone to understand.”

While many of the events it records have been well covered by the media, the tracker is focused on clearly documenting of the Trump administration’s actions from a human rights angle, she said.

Ms Sherman added: “With each day bringing fresh news of a damaging initiative by the President of the United States, it is difficult to keep up with all that the new administration is doing that threatens human rights.

“By bringing together all the potential violations in one place, we hope to document and monitor the wide range of human rights being undermined by this administration at home and abroad.”

The tracker is being produced in collaboration with faculty and students at the university’s specialist human rights bodies.

Sarah Knuckey, director of Columbia’s Human Rights Clinic, said the huge interest showed “just how widespread the concerns are about what Trump is doing”.

She added it demonstrated people’s motivation to “stay informed and fight to protect our rights”.

The tracker also explains why the actions are allegedly a breach of human rights and which particular rights have been violated.Links to further reading on the topic are also included.

Regularly updated, the tracker can be found here.

It's first entry was recorded three days after Mr Trump’s inauguration on 23 January, when he signed a Presidential Memorandum reinstating and expanding the ‘global gag rule’.

Also known as the Mexico City Policy, the action blocks US federal funding for non-governmental organisations that provide abortion counselling or referrals, advocate to decriminalise abortion or expand abortion services.

The tracker outlines the three rights issues the HRLR claims the global gag rule affects:

• Undermining women’s rights.

• Risking women’s right to health.

• Risking women’s right to life.

The President’s travel ban on citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries - an issue which is still being fought by the judiciary - is also documented by the tracker.

According to the HRLR, the travel ban:

• Violates the right to non-discrimination.

• Threatens the right to freedom of religion.

• Undermines the right to education.

• Undermines the right to a family life.

A legal battle over the travel ban is still ongoing. Over the weekend, a federal judge in Washington State issued an order halting the implementation of Mr Trump's executive order.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments