On March 8, 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered opening remarks on the release of the State Department's 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Under Secretary Paula Dobriansky also gave remarks at the special briefing. Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Barry F. Lowenkron gave a statement and answered questions.
The report entitled "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" is submitted to the Congress by the Department of State in compliance with sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA), as amended, and section 504 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. The law provides that the Secretary of State shall transmit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, by February 25 "a full and complete report regarding the status of internationally recognized human rights, within the meaning of subsection (A) in countries that receive assistance under this part, and (B) in all other foreign countries which are members of the United Nations and which are not otherwise the subject of a human rights report under this Act." We have also included reports on several countries that do not fall into the categories established by these statutes and that thus are not covered by the congressional requirement.