Leading Jewish Global Human Rights Organization Joins Amicus Brief in Court Case Against State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) denounces State Department’s use of conservative religious philosophy to suppress the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQI+ people

American Jewish World Service has joined five  other human rights organizations in an amicus brief supporting Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights et al v. Pompeo, a case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York challenging the establishment and work of the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights. The amicus was filed this month, and the case is expected to be heard later this year. Rori Kramer, Director of U.S. Advocacy for American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the leading global Jewish human rights organization, issued the following statement:

“By joining the amicus brief, American Jewish World Service unequivocally reiterates our opposition to Secretary Pompeo’s Commission on Unalienable Rights. This nefarious commission is stacked with academics and others who openly oppose universal human rights, in particular sexual and reproductive health and rights and human rights for LGBTQI+ people. The Commission is little more than a smokescreen, using a narrow conservative religious philosopy to redefine human rights in U.S. foreign policy. By touting false interpretations of freedom of religion and conscience, the Commission seeks to curtail the rights of the most vulnerable people, whose rights must be upheld. By attempting to elevate a narrow definition of the freedom of religion above all other rights, the Commission and its upcoming report will put the lives of women, girls, LGBTQI+ people, and other vulnerable groups at great risk.

We will not stay silent while the Commission on Unalienable Rights chips away at the rights of vulnerable groups around the world. And as a faith-based organization committed to recognizing the inherent dignity of all people, we stand in opposition to the use of religion as a cudgel to repress people because of who they are, what they believe, or whom they love.

We are proud to join in opposing the Commission on Unalienable Rights with our colleagues at Human Rights Watch, Center for Reproductive Rights, Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights First, and International Women’s Health Coalition.”

About the human rights work of American Jewish World Service (AJWS) 

AJWS funds LGBTQI+ human rights groups in 19 countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa, and mobilizes the American Jewish community to advocate for U.S. policies that support human rights abroad. With Jewish values and a global reach, AJWS is making a difference in millions of lives and bringing a more just and equitable world closer for all.

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If you are a member of the press and wish to obtain information about our work or speak to a member of our global team on deadline, please contact Tanyanika Davis, Director of Media Relations, at tdavis@ajws.org.