Support Human Rights in the U.S.
Last year, UNA-USA, along with a number of its chapters and partners, submitted 11 reports to the UN Human Rights Council as part of the upcoming Universal Periodic Review, or UPR. (Get more info here!) Every four years, the UN Human Rights Council assesses countries on their domestic human rights record, and permits civil society to share their recommendations.
Below are highlights from the reports we submitted, along key recommendations. We encourage you to read through these summary reports and then take action to ensure we can improve human rights across a variety of issues in the U.S.
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- Extend refugee status to asylum-seekers fleeing domestic and gang violence in their country of origin.
- Completely revoke the family separation policy and take all necessary measures to reunite children with their families.
- Provide immigrants, especially unaccompanied children, with legal services during immigration and asylum hearings.
- Improve conditions of confinement to meet basic human rights standards.
- Enhance measures to ensure a more accurate 2020 Census count in order to ensure accurate redistricting and address the issue of gerrymandering;
- Uphold the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to combat voter suppression by states and localities with records of voting rights violations;
- Promote the use of paper ballots to ensure security; establish national standards for voting machines; and introduce procedures for tight and publicly-guarded chain-of-custody of ballots. These standards should include the right of voters to hand mark their own durable paper ballots and review the final copy of one’s vote;
- Reverse policies inhibiting comprehensive and universal access to voluntary sexual and reproductive health services, especially in emergency situations;
- Pass a federal law banning child marriage
- Ensure protections for those seeking their legal right to asylum, including for women and vulnerable populations.
- Thoroughly address and create solutions regarding the issue of racial profiling within the criminal justice system;
- Create and provide funding for community-based organizations to facilitate prisoner re-entry to society, including mentoring, medical and mental health treatment, as well as educational and employment assistance;
- Institute substantive personal and professional development programs within prisons to facilitate re-entry to society and reduce recidivism;
- Collect, publicize, and integrate data on incarceration by race, gender, and ethnicity to reshape policy and legislation that can reduce racial bias and mass incarceration, particularly within the Bureau of Justice Statistics;
- Reform treatment of young girls coerced in sex trafficking within the criminal justice system in order to ensure a rehabilitative rather than punitive response.
- Pass comprehensive national legislation to ensure that sexual orientation and gender identity are considered protected classes (for example, the Equality Act).
- Ensure law enforcement officers receive training to end police brutality, prevent arbitrary arrest, and combat discrimination against LGBTI individuals in both public settings and detainment facilities
- Pass a nationwide ban on conversion therapy.
- Ban all forms of “assault-style” weapons and high-capacity magazines;
- Require comprehensive background checks for private and gun show sales;
- Fund programs that focus on early identification, early intervention and evidence-based mental health treatments;
- Require law enforcement officials to complete an unconscious bias training that addresses the multidimensional approach to racial profiling;
- Increase prosecution of human trafficking cases by increasing federal penalties for traffickers
- Increase awareness regarding labor trafficking laws within immigrant communities and local law enforcement
- Encourage collaboration with local authorities to develop responses and strategies for tackling human trafficking including expansion of training efforts, survivor protection, and integration of grassroots organizations;
- Re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement immediately
- Support efforts that enable the freedom of expression and assembly of local communities to respond to construction of energy infrastructure projects that endanger public health, jeopardize public safety, and contribute to climate change
- Recommit to supporting the conclusions of the IPCC
- Decriminalize drug addiction in order to treat it as a public health issue;
- Provide adequate resources for skills training that is applicable to the job market and prepares inmates for jobs with higher wages;
- Institute standards that allow more visiting hours, free phone calls, and partnerships with school programs and non-profit organizations to support the children of incarcerated mothers;
- Support education, vocational training, and other programs designed for incarcerated women;
- End the policy of family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border, and ensure safe, sanitary, and dignified conditions for all asylum seekers, migrants, and refugees;
- Avoid racist, xenophobic, and other hate speech at the highest political levels of government;
- Reverse policies inhibiting comprehensive, universal access to voluntary sexual and reproductive health services, especially in emergency situations;
- Implement a national affordability plan to ensure access to safe and clean water, especially among marginalized populations;
- Expand resources to ensure cities and infrastructure are accessible to and usable by older persons, including in economically disadvantaged areas;