• Press Release

All Presidential Candidates Must Make Universal Human Rights a Priority in Their Administration

August 2, 2012

Contact: Alex Edwards, [email protected], 202-675-8761

(Washington, D.C.) – Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) and allies in the NGO community today released a letter to all U.S. presidential candidates urging the next administration, regardless of party affiliation, to put human rights first. In the letter, Ten Critical Human Rights Challenges for the Next American President, the coalition calls for the United States to integrate universal human rights in all U.S. policies, foreign and domestic.

Suzanne Nossel, AIUSA executive director said:

“It is important that the candidates know advancing universal human rights matters to voters. In the case of the Arms Trade Treaty, for instance, approximately 100,000 Americans petitioned their government to show leadership and prevent irresponsible parties from buying weapons to slaughter civilians. Their government needs to start listening now.

“From the arms trade to the rights of women and LGBTI people, to accountability for serious crimes under international law, the U.S. government must fully live up to its obligations under international law and to the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

“It’s time for the U.S. government to recognize that economic, social and cultural rights are indivisible from civil and political rights, and as such, should not be treated as aspirations or afterthoughts, but as essential to basic human dignity.

“The United States needs to show greater consistency in efforts to bring to justice those responsible for serious crimes under international law such as torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The U.S. government should support the right to remedy of the victims of such crimes, and promote and assist their efforts to seek justice and reparations in the United States and abroad.

“In regards to the International Criminal Court, the U.S. government must step up efforts to share information and evidence, urge and assist in the arrest of suspects and strongly support appropriate U.N. Security Council resolutions, such as those referring situations to the Court. Moreover, Amnesty International calls on the United States to join the Court and play an even larger role in ensuring justice and accountability around the world.”

For a copy of Ten Critical Human Rights Challenges for the Next American President, please contact the AIUSA press office at [email protected] or [email protected].

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.