Citing the use of the death penalty, police violence against Black Americans and the inhumane separation of migrant children from their families, the United Nations’ Human Rights Council criticized the United States on Monday for its human rights record.
Prompted by the killing of George Floyd in May, this is the first time since 2015 that the Human Rights Council has examined the U.S. It was concluded that the Trump administration is largely at fault for these recent spikes in human rights violations. The council also suggested that President-elect, Joe Biden, should issue a slew of policy reforms as a corrective measure.
Jamil Dakwar, director of the human rights program at the American Civil Liberties Union, said that they witnessed multiple countries speak out and call for the U.S. to address structural racism and police violence in tangible ways. Additionally, multiple states called for the U.S. to sponsor comprehensive sexual education, and “guarantee women and girls access to their rights and sexual and reproductive health.”
Although the Trump administration quit the Geneva forum in 2018, Robert Destro, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, doubled down and defended the U.S. policy positions that were under fire. Destro claimed that U.S. presence at the forum showed their commitment to human rights, but others like Denice Labertew of the Women LEAD network said, “The United States made clear that they don’t see abortion as a human right,” which is still a cause of contention across the country.