State Department’s human rights report falls short (Indian Country Today)

11 Oct State Department’s human rights report falls short (Indian Country Today)

WASHINGTON – A State Department report to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the U.S. human rights record is a positive step in the country’s efforts to meet its obligations under international law and treaties, but more work needs to be done to resolve well-documented, ongoing human rights problems, according to human rights and indigenous treaty rights advocates.

The State Department submitted its 29-page report to the U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights Aug. 20 as part of the international body’s Universal Periodic Review.

The UPR was created by the U.N. General Assembly in 2006 as a mechanism by which the human rights records of all 192 U.N. member states are reviewed every four years.

The U.S. became a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2009 and its first human rights review will take place in November at a three-hour question and answer session in Geneva where any U.N. member can ask questions and make recommendations. The session will be streamed on the U.N. website.

The review is based on human rights obligations and commitments expressed in the U.N. Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and other legally binding human rights instruments.

The State Department report addresses some of the country’s deficiencies in human rights policies and practices identified in 13 consultations with tribal nations and civil society groups around the country earlier this year.

However, the report falls short of acknowledging the persistent infringements of human rights in the U.S., and the corrective measures touted in the report do not go far enough to guarantee a timely and thorough fix, according to the U.S. Human Rights Network, a nonprofit coalition of leading human rights activists and organizations that helped coordinate the UPR initiative. …Go to article.