On Monday night at the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, members heavily criticized the US for its rates of police brutality, racial discrimination, continued use of the death penalty and issues related to the Guantanamo Bay Facility.
Members representing countless countries recommended that the United States pass stronger legislation and develop better training in order to eliminate racism and combat excessive force from law enforcement officials. James Cadogan , a senior counselor to the U.S. assistant attorney general said “The tragic deaths of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Michael Brown in Missouri, Eric Garner in New York, Tamir Rice in Ohio and Walter Scott in South Carolina have renewed a long-standing and critical national debate about the even-handed administration of justice. These events challenge us to do better and to work harder for progress — through both dialogue and action.” He also added that the Department of Justice opened over 20 investigations in the last six years and released reports that included over 60 recommendations. Alba Morales who investigates the criminal justice system stated “Use of excessive force by police was a major part of this year’s UPR, and the fact that we still don’t have a reliable national figure to know how many people are killed by police or what the racial breakdown is of those people is a travesty…A nation as advanced as the U.S. should be able to gather that number.”
Countries like Russia, China, Turkey and Pakistan stated that human rights issues in the United States needed to be addressed and fixed. Awada Angui, the delegate for Chad said “Chad considers the United States of America to be a country of Freedom, but recent events targeting black sectors of society have tarnished its image.”
Over 100 countries offered recommendations and also called on the United States to end human trafficking, end sexual violence against Native American women, end child labor and lift restrictions so that foreign aid could be used to provide safe abortion options for rape victims in specific areas. The countries also addressed concerns about the Guantanamo Bay facility, protections for migrant workers, the use of the death penalty and human rights for indigenous individuals.
The United States accepted a range of recommendations including making improvements to human rights treaties and Women and Child rights.