News & Politics

Trump Administration Withdraws from UN Human Rights Council As Human Rights Advocates Decry Family Separation Policy

Nikki Haley slammed member nations for hypocrisy, even as Trump's policies shock the world.

Photo Credit: NBC News

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley attacked the body's Human Rights Council as she announced American withdrawal from the group on Tuesday, a move remarkable for its timing as critics across the world denounce the administration's policy of separating immigrants families.

Republicans have long criticized the council and called for American withdrawal given its critical stances toward Israel. Haley noted in her speech announcing the withdrawal that many member nations on the council, including Russia, China, Cuba, and Egypt, abuse human rights.

“I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from our human rights commitments,” she said in a statement. “On the contrary. We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights."

The council, she said, is "an organization that is not worthy of its name."

But Haley's ostensibly moral stand is almost perfectly choreographed to highlight the administration at the height of hypocrisy.

Just the day before, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, has openly criticized the administration's policy of separating immigrant kids and parents, referring to statements that call it "child abuse."

It's also notable that while Haley tries to claim the moral high ground by condemning other nations that violate human rights, Trump's recent stance towards human rights abusers like China, Russia, and North Korea has been unbelievably friendly compared to past presidents. This diminishes any attempt from Americans to defend a principled position on the matter.

And, of course, the White House has been consistent in its complete disregard for Israel's violations. After Israeli border guards slaughtered dozens and injured thousands during a protest, the White House explicitly exonerated Israel and said Hamas was solely to blame for the violence. The White House has also been entirely unwilling to criticize Israel's settlements on Palestinian land, which the U.N. has deemed illegal. 

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.