USA: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Human Rights

Report
September 16, 2013

USA: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Human Rights

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The Fourth Periodic Report recalls that in 2009, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that "a commitment to human rights starts with universal standards and with holding everyone accountable to those standards, including ourselves." In 2010, the State Department Legal Adviser said that the "Obama-Clinton doctrine" meant that the USA would follow "universal standards, not double standards".8 Since the Committee last reviewed the US record, there has been progress on ending some practices which concerned it last time. However there is much that remains incompatible with the ICCPR, the result of the USA's failure to recognize and implement its international human rights obligations.

In filing its Periodic Report, the USA states that it "has taken this opportunity to engage in a process of stock-taking and self-examination. The United States hopes to use this process to improve its human rights performance." There is much room for improvement.