The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

UN Human Rights Council Issues Recommendations To US

U.S. Should Heed Recommendations And Bring Domestic Human Rights In Line With International Standards, Says ACLU


The U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) today issued a set of
recommendations for the United States to bring its human rights policies
and practices in line with international standards. The recommendations
are the result of the first-ever participation by the U.S. in the
Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, which involves a thorough
assessment of a nation's human rights record. The American Civil
Liberties Union, which was in Geneva last week to observe the UPR
process, welcomed U.S. participation as an important step toward
protecting human rights at home.

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the Washington Legislative Office:

"The UPR process provides an opportunity for the United States to
identify human rights violations, develop real solutions and bring our
policies in line with international human rights standards. The Obama
administration should set a good example by working with Congress and
state and local governments to translate human rights commitments into
domestic laws and policies that will have a positive impact on all
people in America."

The following can be attributed to Jamil Dakwar, Director of the ACLU Human Rights Program:

"While the Obama administration should be commended for its
participation in the UPR, in order to lead by example, this
international engagement must be followed by concrete domestic policies
and actions and a commitment to fixing all domestic human rights abuses.
The administration must take immediate and specific presidential
actions to ensure domestic human rights are effectively monitored and
enforced within the United States."

The ACLU called on the government to heed the recommendations of the HRC, including to:

  • ensure accountability for not just the interrogators who used
    torture but also the senior Bush administration officials who authorized
    it, provide reparations for victims of torture, close Guantanamo and
    end indefinite detention without charge or trial, and end the
    discredited military commissions;
  • end racial and ethnic profiling, especially in the enforcement
    of immigration laws - including the termination of Secure Communities
    and 287(g) programs;
  • impose a federal moratorium on the death penalty as a first step
    towards nationwide abolition, and address serious flaws in the
    administration of the death penalty including racial bias, under-funded
    indigent defense programs, conditions on death row and a lack of full
    access to federal courts;
  • take concrete steps to ratify human rights treaties, especially
    the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
    Women and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  • take concrete measures to address racial and ethnic disparities
    in the criminal justice system, including the disproportionate
    representation of minorities and inhumane prison conditions;
  • enhance efforts to address disparities in access to social and
    economic rights and take concrete and effective measures to ensure that
    minorities enjoy equal access to quality education, health care and
  • establish a national civil and human rights commission by
    transforming the existing U.S. commission on civil rights into an
    independent human rights monitoring body; and
  • issue an executive order on human rights to effectively and
    transparently coordinate U.S. follow-up on the UPR recommendations, as
    well as full implementation of ratified treaties including the Race
    Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and
    the Convention against Torture on the federal, state and local levels.

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.

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