U.N. Human Rights Committee Criticizes U.S. Civil and Political Rights Record

March 27, 2014 5:20 pm

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GENEVA – The United Nations Human Rights Committee issued scathing report today castigating the United States’ record on a wide range of issues, including counterterrorism operations, immigrants’ rights, voting rights, and the criminal justice system.

The “Concluding Observations” from the committee, made up of 18 independent renowned experts, are the result of its periodic review of U.S. compliance with a major human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

“The committee’s recommendations highlight the gaps between U.S. human rights obligations and current laws and practices,” said ACLU Human Rights Program Director Jamil Dakwar, who attended the committee’s sessions with U.S. government representative in Geneva, Switzerland, two weeks ago.

“The Human Rights Committee rightly called out the United States for setting dangerous examples from counterterrorism operations to an unfair criminal justice system to inhumane treatment of migrants. President Obama now has an opportunity to reverse course and reshape his human rights legacy by taking concrete actions like declassifying the Senate report on CIA torture and ending dragnet surveillance and unlawful targeted killings.”

The committee’s concluding observations highlight areas of concern and make detailed recommendations to increase transparency and accountability for human rights at home and abroad. They cover:

– Racial profiling and use of lethal force by law enforcement including killings on the U.S.-Mexico border
– Labor trafficking of guestworkers and domestic workers
– Lack of remedies for female victims domestic violence
– The use of the death penalty, solitary confinement, juvenile life without parole, and other unfair sentencing practices
– The disenfranchisement of felons
– Accountability for torture and abuse during the Bush Administration
– Targeted killings
– NSA surveillance programs

Today’s report from the U.N. is at:

The ACLU’s report to the U.N. on the United States’ human rights record is at:

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