The Center for Constitutional Rights has a strong practice of engaging with international human rights bodies to highlight the issues we work on and draw attention to 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. The Center for Constitutional Rights 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.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has played a critical role during periodic reviews of the U.S. government by UN treaty bodies, including those that review the United States’ 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). In addition, the Center for Constitutional Rights advocates before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the regional rights body for the western hemisphere).
2022 CERD Review Process of the U.S. Government
In August 2022, the U.S. Government was reviewed by the UN CERD Committee with regard to its human rights obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). In August 2022, the CERD Committee issued its Concluding Observations. The Observations contained specific recommendations for issues that CCR submitted to the Committee in its shadow report, including environmental racism in Louisiana's Cancer Alley, as well as racial disparities in the criminal legal system, immigration, voting rights, indefinite detention at the Guantánamo Bay prison, the family regulation system, and the suppression of anti-racist human rights defenders.
Constitutional Rights submitted a List of Themes to inform the committee's review, outlining our key concerns with regard to the laws, policies, and practices that impact racialized communities, including Indigenous, Black, Brown, Muslim, and immigrant communities.
- 2022 List of Themes Submission on Failure to Comply & Refusal to Repair; Organized Abandonment & Environmental Racism; Racist Carceral Logics: Guantánamo, Immigration Detention, and Family Regulation; and Systematic Disenfranchisement: Voting Apartheid and Suppression of Dissent by Indigenous, Black & Palestinian human rights defenders.
CCR also contributed to the 2022 review process by authoring the following shadow report:
- 2022 Center for Constitutional Rights report (co-authored with The Descendants Project, Inclusive Louisiana, and Concerned Citizens of St. John Parish) on Environmental Racism and the Desecration of Black History in Louisiana
2014 CERD Review Process of the U.S. Government
In August 2014, the U.S. Government was reviewed by the UN CERD Committee with regard to its human rights obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). In August 2014, the CERD Committee issued its Concluding Observations, and asked for the U.S. Government to follow up one year later, focusing on the topics of excessive use of force, immigrants, and Guantanamo Bay. This official one-year follow-up took place on May 13, 2016.
CCR contributed to the 2014 review process through signing onto, contributing or authoring the following shadow reports:
- 2014 Center for Constitutional Rights report (along with other endorsing organizations) on the Suspicionless Surveillance of Muslim Communities and the Increased Use and Abuse of Muslim Informants.
- 2014 Center for Constitutional Rights report on the Communications Management Units (CMUs).
Read the June 2013 official U.S. Government submission.
2008 CERD Review Process of U.S. Government
The Center for Constitutional Rights also contributed to the 2008 review process by the UN CERD Committee, for which we signed onto, contributed to, or authored the following shadow reports:
Click here for the May 2008 UN CERD Committee Concluding Observations (Final Version).