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  • Human Rights Research Center

Activists Protest US Response at UNHRC Periodic Review

October 20, 2023

Dozens of U.S. activists who champion LGBTQ, indigenous and reproductive rights and who campaign against discrimination turn their backs in a silent protest against what they called insufficient U.S. responses to their human rights concerns during a regular review of the United States by the Human Rights Committee at the U.N. offices in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/James Keaton)

Cited article by the AP News

HRRC calls for immediate action to address the concerns raised by activists and NGOs, emphasizing the necessity of meaningful and transparent dialogue on human rights within the United States. It is imperative that the U.S. government undertakes concrete steps to address these concerns and actively engage with civil society to make substantial progress in safeguarding human rights within the country.

News Brief

A group of U.S. activists, representing various causes including LGBTQ, indigenous, and reproductive rights, organized a silent protest during a human rights review session at the United Nations. They expressed their discontent with what they considered inadequate responses from the U.S. government regarding their human rights concerns. The activists, hailing from diverse locations such as Guam, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii, took part in the protest as U.S. Ambassador Michele Taylor concluded a two-day hearing on the United States conducted by the independent Human Rights Committee. Several countries, including Haiti, Iran, and Venezuela, were undergoing similar public sessions in Geneva to assess their adherence to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, an international human rights treaty ratified by the United States.

During the protest, Ambassador Taylor reiterated the U.S. commitment to the treaty and emphasized that it is a moral imperative for the country. She claimed that the U.S. led by example through transparency and openness in addressing its human rights challenges. However, many activists found the U.S. delegation's responses to the committee's questions to be scripted and inadequate. They criticized the U.S. officials for providing general and often meaningless responses, leading to their protest against the perceived lack of substantive engagement on issues ranging from police use of force to maternal health care. The protest highlighted the activists' frustration with the U.S. government's approach to addressing their human rights concerns and called for more meaningful responses and actions.


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