RNA - The Trump administration's record of human rights violations is poor and the State Department has just announced that it won’t cooperate with United Nations investigators regarding their complaints about such issues in the US.
This is while the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights has issued a report on "devastating inequality" in the US and the Trump White House has left unanswered at least 13 official requests from UN special rapporteurs on human rights since last May. The deliberate failure to respond began a month before Philip Alston, special rapporteur on extreme poverty, issued a scathing report detailing "devastating inequality" in the US, made worse by the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies of President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers.
According to Alston, Washington’s refusal to answer questions and cooperate not only leaves issues including inequality and the rights of immigrants and asylum seekers unaddressed in the US, but also sends a harmful message to other human rights abusers leading countries around the world. In his words, "This sends a message that you can opt out of routine scrutiny if you don't like what is being said about your record on human rights.”
Obviously, the dismissive Trump administration officials see domestic human rights violations as an internal matter - the same officials that draft resolution after resolution against other nations at the UN regarding similar issues. They even call the UN study "patently ridiculous" and claim no human rights violations exist in the US, which is ridiculous. There is well documented evidence of growing income inequality, the police brutality against people of color, the Muslim travel ban and anti-immigrant policies, the use of solitary confinement in prisons, and the Department of Homeland Security's forcible separation of thousands of children from their parents.
According to Fars News Agancy, such attitude demonstrates a rather inappropriate arrogance, at a time when human rights not just in the US but also in neighboring Canada are far from perfect, where three quarters of a century after the UN Charter, human rights are similarly and manifestly far from being realized (enjoyed) by far too many people. Despite some progress, the gap between declaration and real experience remains wide and, for some, stark, and the persistence of that shortfall brings into doubt the sincerity of their commitment and even their values.
On the other hand, the US has already withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council, for being “preoccupied with Israel”. But why is the Council preoccupied with Washington’s surrogate? For a start, Israel has committed serious human rights abuses that are worthy of the Council’s condemnation. It is absurd for Washington to claim that Israel has “committed no offence”. The recent killings of Palestinian protesters, targeted killings, illegal settlements, forced evictions, war crimes, the Gaza blockade and, most fundamentally, an ongoing occupation of Palestine that has lasted for more than 50 years, will cause critics to proliferate.
Nevertheless, that does not explain the Trump administration’s dismissive attitude toward the UN, rejecting even legitimate condemnation by the Council, and deliberate refusal to walk the talk and end scale of human rights abuses within its borders. Regardless of its causes, it is fair to expect that US human rights violations not be dismissed outright.
Long story short, the US, the only country in the world that has failed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, cannot play a leadership role in human rights. It has withdrawn from the Human Rights Council and refuses to cooperate with United Nations investigators regarding their complaints about human rights violations in the US, which are too numerous to mention, but which include torture and the highest proportion of incarceration in the world.