warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

U.N. Human Rights Panel To Challenge American Domestic Policies

Sara Newman |
September 14, 2013 | 11:34 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

U.N. reviews U.S. human rights policies, photo by Sara Newman
U.N. reviews U.S. human rights policies, photo by Sara Newman

Between October 14 and November 1, the U.N. Human Rights Committee will evaluate the United States’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

The U.S. ratified the covenant in 1992, vowing to respect the civil and political rights of individuals. However, the U.S. included many reservations, declarations, and understandings before accepting the terms of the agreement.

The senators who ratified it were so wary that they thought to add a clause emphasizing that, “nothing in this Covenant requires or authorizes legislation, or other action, by the United States of America prohibited by the Constitution of the United States as interpreted by the United States.” 

The October review will be the fourth time that the U.S. is under consideration for violation of the covenant, and the first time that the U.S. has been under review during the Obama administration. 

The hearing will conclude the review process that began in 2011 with the federal government’s submission of a lengthy report on their fulfillment of the terms of the ICCPR. 

The U.N. experts are primarily concerned with “stand your ground” laws, racial profiling, governmental surveillance, and voting rights. 

Even if no disciplinary actions are taken following the Human Rights Panel Review, the very fact that the U.S. is being reviewed may prompt the government to reconsider some of the country’s more questionable practices. 


Contact Executive Producer Sara Newman here and follow her on Twitter. 



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.