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US Compliance with International Treaties (Shadow Reporting)

Ishmael Beah - Keynote Speaker at the 2008 HRAD

International human rights treaties obligate governments to report periodically on compliance with the articles in the treaties. Until 2006, the U.S. was seriously overdue in submitting its periodic reports on compliance with the human rights treaties it has ratified. Government reports often focus on legislation passed rather than on implementation of those laws. Nongovernmental organizations can play an important role by providing the treaty body committee members with information and examples of problems with implementation and areas of government non-compliance. These reports are often called “shadow reports” because they correspond with the government’s report.

The Advocates recently participated in submitting shadow reports on U.S. compliance with international human rights treaties to the Committee Against Torture (CAT), the Human Rights Committee (HRC), and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).