UNITED STATES POLICY
From the outset, a major aspect of the work of each of the Watch Committee has been an attempt to make the United States use its power, purse and prestige to promote human rights worldwide. Most of the reports that we have published over the years on particular countries include reviews of United States policy as it affects those countries. In addition, for the past eight years, we have published two reports annually that are devoted entirely to United States policy. One reviews the Administration's record during the year worldwide; the other is a critique of the Department of State's annual volume of Country Reports worldwide.
Human Rights Watch expressed disappointment about the Bush Administration's record in its first year in the 295-page report we published at the end of the year reviewing its record in fifty countries that we regularly monitor. Though the extraordinary changes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and diminished concerns about national security, had provided an opportunity to give a more prominent place to the promotion of human rights, this opportunity was not seized by the Bush Administration. We criticized the Administration's policies in China as the leading symbol of this failure, but cited many other examples as well.
Our 216-page critique of the Department of State's Country Reports on human rights was published in conjunction with the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. In general, we found the reports more professional and more objective than ever before, but noted that political considerations had nevertheless shaped the reporting on several countries and that this had diminished the value of the Country Reports.
In 1989, as in the previous two years, Human Rights Watch's reporting on United States policy on human rights was guided by Kenneth Roth; and our efforts to shape United States policy through contacts with the Administration and with Congress, as in the previous six years, were directed by Holly Burkhalter.