Human Rights First Welcomes First U.S. Human Rights Record Report to UN Human Rights Council
Washington, DC Human Rights First today welcomed the U.S. government’s release of its first Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report, a self-evaluation of the U.S. record of compliance with its international human rights treaty obligations. This morning, the Obama administration submitted the report to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in advance of the Human Rights Council’s scheduled review of the U.S. record at its session in November. Human Rights First notes that the report builds on the United States’ 2009 decision to join the Human Rights Council, and the nation’s robust participation in the UPR process is an important step in rebuilding U.S. human rights leadership. “The very fact that the United States is participating in the review process is significant,” stated Human Rights First’s Tad Stahnke. “We urge the administration to see this report not just as an opportunity to defend the positive aspects of its human rights record, but as one step in an ongoing process to address shortcomings and commit to concrete improvements. That is the underlying purpose of the UPR and improved compliance is the example that the United States can set for other countries.” The Obama administration conferred extensively with civil society over the past year as it prepared the report. There were consultations with civil society throughout the country, including two.