Published on

'Quietly and Unnoticed,' Trump Administration Won't Cooperate with UN Investigators on Human Rights Violations in US

"Great news for Saudi Arabia, China, North Korea, Syria...If the U.S. doesn't have to answer for the suffering it inflicts on its own people, why should they?"

The U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights issued a report on "devastating inequality" in the U.S. last year. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Displaying what one United Nations human rights expert called "arrogance" considering international outcry over the Trump administration's record of human rights violations, the State Department has refused to cooperate with U.N. investigators regarding their complaints about such issues for the better part of a year.

As the Guardian reported Friday, the administration has "quietly and unnoticed" left unanswered at least 13 official requests from U.N. special rapporteurs on human rights since last May. The failure to respond began a month before Philip Alston, special rapporteur on extreme poverty, issued a scathing report detailing "devastating inequality" in the U.S., made worse by the policies of President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers.

As Alston said, the administration's refusal to answer questions and cooperate not only leaves issues including inequality and the rights of immigrants and asylum seekers unaddressed in the U.S., but also sends a harmful message to other human rights abusers leading countries around the world.


Never Miss a Beat.

Get our best delivered to your inbox.

"This sends a message that you can opt out of routine scrutiny if you don't like what is being said about your record on human rights," he told the Guardian.

ACLU human rights director Jamil Dakwar also called the State Department's conduct "a serious setback to the system created after World War II to ensure that domestic human rights violations could no longer be seen as an internal matter."

The administration was dismissive of Alston's report, which made headlines last June. Then-UN ambassador Nikki Haley called the study "patently ridiculous" and suggested that no human rights violations exist in the U.S.—despite well documented evidence of growing income inequality, a federal minimum wage which cannot pay the rent on a two-bedroom apartment in any state in the country, the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, and the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) forcible separation of thousands of children from their parents.

The Trump administration's attitude toward the U.N. special rapporteurs on human rights "demonstrates a rather inappropriate arrogance, at a time when human rights in the U.S. are particularly fragile," said Leilani Farha, investigator on adequate housing.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article