About the Human Rights Tracker

The Columbia Human Rights Law Review and Columbia Law School’s Rightslink, Human Rights Clinic, and Human Rights Institute launched this regularly updated tool at the start of Trump’s Presidency to keep track of the Executive Branch’s actions and their impacts on human rights. It summarizes the action taken by the administration, identifies the human rights implications, and provides links to sources where readers can find more detailed analysis.

Input from those using this tool is welcome at trumphumanrights@gmail.com.


What counts as an “action” ?

Relevant executive actions include executive orders, presidential memoranda, presidential proclamations, and signing statements; bill signings and presidential vetoes, determined on a case-by-case basis; and various agency actions, also determined on a case-by-case basis. Relevant executive actions do not include speculated executive actions (e.g., leaked drafts of executive orders) and rhetorical presidential statements (e.g., speeches and Tweets), and actions that do not have have real or purported legal effect.

With respect to legislative-executive actions, e.g. bill signings and presidential vetoes, we select executive actions based on the degree to which the proposed bill aligns with Trump’s policy agenda. With respect to agency actions, over which the President has varying levels of directive influence, we select executive actions based on a number of factors: the degree of agency independence from the Presidency generally; the degree of presidential influence over the agency action specifically; whether the agency action is based on or aligns with Trump’s policy goals; and whether the agency action is based on and aligns with prior presidential statements.

Our Volunteers

The Human Rights Tracker has been regularly updated thanks to the work of the following students during the 2018-2019 academic year:

Jeremy Chu, Kori Cooper, Chelsi DeTurk, Sonia De la Fuente, Joanna Hwang, Michelle Ife Irukera, Joshua D. Koenig, Nabiha Komidor-Cezard, Suz Kroeber, Michelle Lee, Shannon Marcoux, Chika N. Oparaji, Ana S. Pirnia, Michael A. Sharpe, Claire Sheridan, Corinna M. Svarlien, Niusha Tavassoli, Archana Vasa, Albert Wong

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