26 November 2010


The recent Universal Periodic Review of the United States at the human Rights Council in Geneva created a high level of interest, with more than 80 states taking the floor to raise issues resulting 228 recommendations - the highest number made to any state thus far.

The US sent a high level delegation of 40 persons, over 70 representatives of US NGO's came to Geneva for the review and 15 NGO-organised side events were staged.

Issues of concern that featured prominently included the US failure to ratify a number of core international treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child; its continued use of the death penalty; racial inequality; rights of indigenous people and counter-terrorism measures.

Immigration was another issue that featured prominently and the concerns about the guest-worker program raised by Edmund Rice International were best reflected in a recommendation (92.81) put forward by Guatemala:-
"Take the necessary measures in favor of the right to work and fair conditions of work so that workers belonging to minorities, in particular women and undocumented migrant workers, do not become victims of discriminatory treatment and abuse in the work place and enjoy the full protection of the labour legislation, regardless of their migratory status"

The US declined to respond to these recommendations at this time, but agreed to give them consideration before announcing any decision on their acceptance at the next session of the Human Rights Council in March.

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