The Advocates for Human Rights, along with more than 60 U.S.-based non-governmental organizations, recently brought concerns about the treatment of non-citizens in the U.S. to the attention of the UN Human Rights Committee, which oversees U.S. compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. That Covenant, one of the few human rights treaties that the U.S. has signed, includes provisions related to due process and right to counsel for individuals in removal proceedings (including refugees, asylum seekers, juveniles and lawful permanent residents), as well as the rights of migrant workers to freedom of association and nondiscrimination. The U.S. report to the Committee set forth the procedure for removing non-citizens from the U.S. but failed to adequately address the impact of some U.S. laws and policies. The U.S. report can be found at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/55504.htm.
The formal review of the U.S. compliance with the ICCPR took place in July in Geneva, Switzerland. The Advocates was represented by Deputy Director Jennifer Prestholdt and volunteer attorney Mark Girouard, Sandra Jezierski of Halleland Lewis Nilan & Johnson, and Penny Parker of Nokia Corporation.
In response to the U.S. report, a team of human rights and immigration lawyers (including The Advocates for Human Rights, pro bono attorneys at Halleland Lewis Nilan & Johnson, Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute and the Center for Constitutional Rights, Washington College of Law Practioner-In-Residence Sarah Paoletti and the National Employment Law Project) drafted the attached “shadow report” to bring their concerns to the attention of the Committee. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights can be found at: http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/b3ccpr.htm.
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