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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)

'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?"

Julia Conley

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.

"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.


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'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·


In 10 Key US Senate Races, Here's How Top Candidates Responded to Roe Ruling

While Republicans unanimously welcomed the Supreme Court's rollback of half a century of reproductive rights, one Democrat said "it's just wrong that my granddaughter will have fewer freedoms than my grandmother did."

Brett Wilkins ·


Sanders Says End Filibuster to Combat 'Outrageous' Supreme Court Assault on Abortion Rights

"If Republicans can end the filibuster to install right-wing judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats can and must end the filibuster, codify Roe v. Wade, and make abortion legal and safe," said the Vermont senator.

Jake Johnson ·

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