Monday, April 19, 2010

US Human Rights Network Releases Major Report on Domestic Human Rights Issues

For Immediate Release
April 19, 2010
Contact: Ajamu Baraka, 404.588.9761

A sweeping report on human rights in the United States has found significant shortcomings in U.S. compliance with international human rights standards as well as its obligations under multiple human rights treaties and agreements. The report, issued today by the U.S. Human Rights Network, culminates more than a year of research by more than 200 domestic human rights and social justice organizations and hundreds of advocates across the country.

The report covers such broad topics as discrimination, civil rights, criminal justice, economic and social rights, immigration and foreign policy. Among the many issues addressed in the report are education, housing, labor, political repression, disability rights, racial profiling, reproductive rights, health care and indigenous rights. "This report includes input from every corner of civil society," says US Human Rights Network Executive Director Ajamu Baraka. "We left no stone unturned."

While the report acknowledges select advances in human rights policy and practice under the Obama administration, the systemic failings to protect and uphold human rights detailed in the report argue for more aggressive action at the federal, state and local levels. "Baby steps are not enough when the problems are marathon in scope," Baraka says.

A compilation of 24 separate submissions, the report lays out the existing human rights frameworks in the U.S. as well as the lack of a coordinating authority or other adequate mechanisms to ensure compliance; details the range of human rights violations in the U.S. with numerous specific examples; and makes recommendations on how the U.S. can better meet international human rights standards and live up to its treaty obligations.

The report was produced in conjunction with the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, which examines the human rights track record of all member states every four years. The UN will hold hearings on the U.S. record in November. The report is timely in other ways, particularly in the wake of the global economic crisis and the so-called War on Terror, both of which have created a climate of fear in the U.S. and a consequent willingness to abrogate or suspend human rights protections. The elimination of job and wage security for low-wage workers, the recent passage in Arizona of a law that allows racial profiling of immigrants, foreclosure rates that disproportionately affect minority homeowners and renters, and documented instances of violence and abuse by law enforcement are but a few examples of how these events are playing out on the national stage.

For the complete report and more information on the US Human Rights Network and UPR process, please visit

The US Human Rights Network was formed to promote US accountability to universal human rights standards by building linkages between organizations and individuals. The Network strives to build a human rights culture in the United States that puts those directly affected by human rights violations, with a special emphasis on grassroots organizations and social movements, in a central leadership role. The Network also works towards connecting the US human rights movement with the broader US social justice movement and human rights movements around the world. To learn more, please visit:

Our postal address is
250 Georgia Ave
Suite 330
Atlanta, Georgia 30312
United States

No comments: