CCR has a strong practice of engaging with international human rights bodies to bring attention to our issues and uplift the experiences of those most impacted by the U.S. government’s failures to protect and uphold human rights.
Independent human rights experts regularly review whether governments are in compliance with their human rights obligations. CCR engages with these experts by drafting shadow reports and other advocacy materials, providing testimony, lobbying, and working in coalition with our partners to use these opportunities to highlight serious human rights violations.
CCR has played a critical role during periodic reviews of the U.S. government by UN treaty bodies, including those that review the U.S.’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racism (CERD), and during the cumulative Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Additionally, CCR advocates before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the regional rights body for the western hemisphere).
In March 2014, the United States Government was reviewed by the UN Human Rights Committee with regards to its human rights commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). This periodic review process took place in Geneva, Switzerland. The review was previously scheduled for October 2013 but was postponed at the time to 2014 due to the US government shutdown.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) traveled to the periodic review session and advocated on its issues before Committee members. CCR successfully drew their attention to compelling human rights in the U.S. As a result of these advocacy efforts, the Committee questioned the government on issues including stop and frisk, racial profiling, surveillance of Muslims, the use of solitary confinement, the death penalty, Guantanamo and Special Administrative Measures (SAMs). Many of these CCR issues were highlighted in the March review as areas of concern for the Committee. Click here to read a blog by CCR's Nahal Zamani chronicling these efforts.
The Committee issued highly critical concluding observations on the United States’ compliance with international human rights requirement on March 27, 2014. CCR released a short statement in response.
Prior to the March 2014 review, CCR authored shadow reports, contributed to other partner submissions and met with the State Department in order to draw attention to the United States' failures and missteps in meeting its international rights obligations. A selection of these documents and efforts is shared below:
- CCR, Update Submission: Abusive Stop and Frisk Practices and Violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, dated February 7, 2014
- CCR, Updated Submission: Arbitrary Detention At Guantánamo, (February 2014)
Shadow Report Submissions
- CCR, Stopped, Seized and Under Siege: U.S. Government Violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights through Abusive Stop and Frisk Practices (September 2013).
- CCR, University of Miami School of Law Human Rights Clinic and Immigration Clinic,
Americans for Immigrant Justice, Alternative Chance, and Haitian Women of Miami (FANM), Written Statement on Deportations to Haiti (PDF) (September 2013)
- CCR, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, American Muslims for Palestine, Council on American Islamic Relations-San Francisco Bay Area, and National Lawyers Guild International Committee, The Misuse of United States Law to Silence Pro-Palestinian Students’ Speech and Expression (PDF) (August 2013)
- CCR, Arbitrary Detention At Guantánamo (PDF) (September 2013)
- CCR, Accounting for a Decade of War: U.S. Veterans and Iraqi Organizations Seek Accountability for Human Rights Crisis Resulting from a Decade of U.S.-Led War (PDF) (September 2013).
In addition to the reports and efforts described above, CCR also contributed to the following efforts spearheaded by partner organizations and allies:
- Rights Working Group 2013 shadow report submission (PDF) (September 2013)
List of Issue Submissions
CCR also contributed to and authored submissions to influence the List of Issues announced by the Committee which it will focus on during its March 2014 review session.
- CCR List of Issues Submission, Violations of Human Rights Obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights through the New York Police Department’s Stop and Frisk Practices (PDF) (December 2012)
- CCR, Asian Law Caucus, American Muslims for Palestine, Council on American Islamic Relations-San Francisco Bay Area, and National Lawyers Guild International Committee List of Issues Submission, The Misuse of United States Law to Silence Pro-Palestinian Students’ Speech (PDF) (December 2012)
- CCR List of Issues Submission, The Use of Prolonged Solitary Confinement in United States Prisons, Jails, and Detention Centers (PDF) (December 2012)