National Security and the Human Rights Program
Key Human Rights Treaties
· The Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions
HRP uses human rights standards and strategies to complement existing ACLU legal and legislative advocacy and to advance a social justice in the area of national security that encompasses respect for civil and human rights protections.
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Since the horrors of World War II and the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the international community has recognized that respect for human rights is the corner stone of worldwide peace and security. Since September 11, however, fundamental civil and human rights protections have been flouted in the name of national security; a government-sponsored torture program was established, prolonged arbitrary detention, disappearances and “extraordinary rendition” were sanctioned, and those responsible have not been held accountable.
International law, including treaty-based and customary international law, recognizes that our national security interests can be protected at the same time as our fundamental rights are respected. For example, the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture recognize that even in time of war or other national emergency torture is never permissible. The time is now to respect the rule of law, hold those who have engaged in torture, uphold human rights and restore American values.
Working together with the ACLU National Security Project, HRP works to promote a national security agenda that respects civil and human rights by: