The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

In the United States: Rachel Myers, (212) 549-2689 or 2666;
In Geneva: Jamil Dakwar, +1 (917) 495-5579

United States to Undergo First-Ever Universal Periodic Review Before U.N. Human Rights Council Friday in Geneva

U.S. Must Bring Domestic Human Rights in Line With International Standards, Says ACLU


The U.S. will undergo the first-ever Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of its human rights record before the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) on Friday, November 5 in Geneva, Switzerland. The American Civil Liberties Union, which is in Geneva to observe the proceedings and participate in side events, welcomed the U.S. participation in the UPR process as an important step toward protecting and promoting human rights at home, and said there are still many areas that need significant improvement in the U.S. The ACLU called on the Obama administration to address existing human rights violations and urged policy reform in order to fully comply with U.S. human rights obligations.

As part of the UPR process, the U.S. submitted a report in August to the HRC on their efforts to strengthen human rights commitments and comply with international human rights standards. Friday, a U.S. delegation including representatives of the State, Justice, Homeland Security and Education Departments will give follow-up testimony and answer questions from the HRC. Next week, the HRC will issue recommendations on how the U.S. can comply with international standards and obligations.

The ACLU submitted a report to the HRC in April on access to justice for all people and the lack of effective remedies for U.S. human rights violations. That report is available online at:

First-ever review of the United States' human rights record under the U.N. Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review process

The U.S. delegation will include representatives of the State, Justice, Homeland Security and Education Departments. Representatives of the ACLU and other non-governmental organizations will be present to observe the proceedings, participate in side events and speak with the media. ACLU representatives include Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office; Jamil Dakwar, Director of the ACLU Human Rights Program; Alessandra Soler Meetze, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arizona; and Chandra Bhatnagar, staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program.

Events begin Monday, November 1
Review of the U.S. will take place Friday, November 5, 9:00 a.m. CET

United Nations
Palais de Nations
Geneva, Switzerland

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666