U.N. Holds U.S. Accountable for Human Rights Violations at Home and Abroad

"The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights," warned Jimmy Carter in a 2012 New York Times op-ed. Less than two years later, Carter's warning has been vindicated. Yesterday, the U.N. Human Rights Committee issued a blistering report on the U.S. government's role in perpetuating injustices both within its borders and abroad.

This month in Geneva, the U.S. faced a barrage of questions from renowned human rights experts regarding its compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), one of the few international human rights treaties the U.S. has ratified. During the extensive review, the committee raised critical points about the United States' responses to questions on issues such as counter-terrorism operations overseas, treatment of migrants, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and felon disenfranchisement laws. The U.N. committee's findings and recommendations (called "Concluding Observations") address many of the issues raised by ACLU and other groups in reports and briefings that took place prior to the US review.

The committee condemned the United States' lack of accountability for disappearance, torture, and unlawful killings of terrorism suspects, and its failure to apply the ICCPR to international operations. In addition, the committee denounced racial disparities in law enforcement that have led to the incarceration of a disproportionate number of minorities (particularly Blacks and Latinos), effectively denying them basic human rights throughout the criminal justice process. This includes severe sentencing such as the death penalty and life without parole for juveniles; improper use of solitary confinement; and denial of civil rights following incarceration (most notably, the right to vote).

While the committee noted several areas where the U.S. record has improved since its last review in 2006, the Concluding Observations include important structural recommendations, such as creating an independent human rights monitoring body and expanding existing mechanisms to monitor the implementation of human rights at federal, state, local and tribal levels – providing them with adequate human and financial resources.

The ICCPR review process perfectly exemplified "naming and shaming", a human rights tactic widely used by the U.S. government against other states, but one that too often is not effectively used against the United States itself. Although the committee's findings are not legally binding, they carry an important moral weight and demonstrate that international tolerance of U.S. "exceptionalism" is declining.

Within one year, the U.S. government is required to submit a follow-up implementation report on four key recommendations: gun violence (including Stand Your Ground laws), lack of accountability for the Bush administration's violations of human rights, closing Guantánamo, and NSA surveillance. We are urging the Obama administration to immediately take concrete steps to rectify the human rights violations identified within the review and work with Congress, state, and local governments as well as civil society to implement the committee's recommendations. This will be important step towards regaining U.S. moral leadership to champion human rights globally.

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It would stand that in this shrinking world all should play by the rules. As in childhood the bullys rule the day.


Is this a joke? Accountable? Really? Good job of the ACLU patting itself on the back for accomplishing nothing. Our secret government still refuses to fully acknowledge its crime or even allow its citizens to have knowledge of its conduct, a necessity in a real democracy. Where in the Constitution does it authorize our government to structure and fund a secret government which intervenes lethally throughout the world on behalf of the mega bankers, New York and London thugs, without any accountability whatsoever. WE do not have a government. This is fascist government entirely under the control of the wealthy and powerful, no different than most of the other governments around the world. Heil, Obama.


I didn't even commit any felonies and people where I live are trying to disenfranchise me from every public place I want to go. They have been doing this for decades in Arlington, VA. Are there any laws about attacking someones eyes with excessively bright motor vehcile lights so that it causes instant severe pain, headache and blurry vision? It's been 3 days now and my up close vision has not improved. Who can I report this to? I will report it to the Justice Dept. Any suggestions? Thank you.


trying to see if the filter will let me through


"Champion of Human Rights"?

You mean all the support for war in Libya, Syria, and now Ukraine is called 'championing'?

The American people and the world deserve better than a war-mongering government, hungry for world domination.


In all reality, had there been any accountability whatsoever with respect to the Bush Administration, i.e., "authors" of lying us into war(s) (wars of agression ..war crimes, as defined in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights), torture, also a war crime, no rights of habeas corpus, and on and on, this country would NOT be in the horrific condition it is in -- the myriad of conditions which are far too numerous to mention en toto. When International Laws and our own national laws have been blatantly ignored and there is no accountability by our nation, then it gives way to further abuses within our government .. . . the continuation of which we have seen right down the line. THIS, despite the U.N.'s numerous requests by their Special Rapporteurs' many requests for the United States to bring to trial its own war criminals, which has yet to be done, plus, failed attempts by Spain to do so by Secretary of State's, Hillary Clinton, pressure on Spain to drop the cases. So, onward, we have seen our country decline into a moral, environmental and economic abyss, a calulated plan by those who deem themselves the "gawds" of all other human beings, those being the "1 percenters" to be exact. To put it succinctly and bluntly, "criminals" don't stop being criminals unless and until they are caught and brought to trial. That it has never happened allowed the "criminality" within our government to continue on its way unabated . . . in even greater crimes and malfeasance toward other countries and the American people!


I know I am not a criminal, yet I have been blacklisted for years with hate crimes. One con man is all it took to get me into this living hell I am forced to live in. Stalked, harassed, crowded in stores so I can't move, noxious fumes poured into vents, being spit at, hand signs, people holding cell phones ready to call as soon as I leave the house, noise campaigns, cars with lights on, wrong numbers, acid poured over my car bumper, even kids running in front of my car to make me stop while neighborhood watch groups smirk and think they have the truth. It's all been made up by organized stalking groups filled with hate for someone that wouldn't't hurt another human being. It's all slander and lies. Big money must be involved, there's too many of them doing this crime against humanity. It sickens me. No one believes it, which isolates victims, one of their goals. Oh yes, government is definitely involved. There is no where to go for help.

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