August 1, 2014 – In light of the ongoing violence in Gaza, which has already taken the lives of over one thousand civilians, including hundreds of children, the Center for Constitutional Rights is working to raise concerns regarding the need for state parties to protect civilians and abide by the law of war with the U.S. government. On Friday August 1, 2014, CCR raised the issue of the U.S. obligations to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and domestic and international human rights law through the U.S. government’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) consultation process.
- Recommendation 52: Ensure the implementation of its obligations under international humanitarian law vis-à-vis Palestinian people.
- U.S. position: See general comments. The U.S. government complies with its international humanitarian law obligations, but we note that international humanitarian law governs conduct in the context of armed conflict, and cannot accept this recommendation’s implication that we are in an armed conflict with the Palestinian people.
- Recommendation 227: That the model legal framework expressed by the Leahy Laws be applied with respect to all countries receiving US’s security assistance, and that the human rights records of all units receiving such assistance be documented, evaluated, made available and followed up upon in cases of abuse.
- U.S. position: This recommendation enjoys our support except for the last part regarding making our decision-making publicly available. We apply the Leahy laws (which impose human rights-related restrictions on assistance to foreign security forces) to all countries receiving U.S. security assistance, and we respond appropriately in cases of abuse. However, to do so, we consider information from all sources, including classified sources, and cannot make our decision-making public.