ICCPR Newsletter No. 4: Shadow Report Submissions

Update Type: 

Welcome to the fourth edition of the ICCPR newsletter! In this edition, we feature each of the 30 shadow reports that the Network submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee on behalf of our members and partners. 


On September 12, 2013, the USHRN coordinating center submitted a compilation of 30 shadow reports to the UN Human Rights Committtee ("the Committee") along with an executive summary that frames the reports as they relate to the list of questions from the Committee. These alternative or shadow reports provide on-the-ground, lived perspectives to supplement and at times counter the narrative of human rights compliance provided by the U.S. Government in its initial report and subsequent Reply to the list of questions requested by the Committtee in April of this year. Charged with monitoring compliance with this foundational human rights treaty--the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)--the Committee depends on these reports to get a full picture of the state of civil and political rights in the U.S. and its territories. While the U.S. has made progress in some areas, such as LGBTQ rights, it fails in too many others. Becuase the full enjoyment of any human right depends on the realization of all rights, this record of achievement on civil and political rights is simply unacceptable.

The coordinating center is graeteful to all the organizations who had or made time to participate in this process, as it is an important part in an overal strategey for achieving human rights at home. We are particularly proud of the number of reports, which exceeded the number we recieved for the earlier stage during the development of the list of questions. Additionally, we received a number of reports on topics that were not orginally covered in the list of questions, including reports on food insecurity, Stand Your Ground laws, the Chicago school closings, impact of the Fukushima earthquake, as well as deportation of Haitian refugees. 

As with the list of questions, topics included how the U.S. is implementing residents full access to civil and political rights and the lack of any enforcement mechanism, police misconduct and extra-judicial killings of people of color, the treatment of women in domestic violence situations and in prisons, forced psychiatric medication, the treatment of undocumented residents regarding lack of access to drivers' liceneses, medical and legal services, and forced labor conditions, the treatment of children held in prisons and persons in solitary confinement, voting restrictions, the death penalty and the need for its abolition, and many more. 

Below are the 30 submissions made through the Network. The order follows the structure of the list of questions, and each report is listed by its title followed by the submitting organization(s). Please see the actual reports for a list of endorsing organizations. 

These reports and all others submitted to the HUman Rights Committee are available on the Committee's webpage. When you get to the page, scroll down to the image of the U.S. flag, click on "Information from Civil Society Organizations" and look for those reports labeled "USHRN" which will also be accompained by the name of the submitting organizations. 


USHRN Compiled Shadow Report Submissions

Executive Summary

A. Constitutional and Legal Framework within which the Covenant is Implemented (Art. 2)

1. Closing the Gap: The Federal Role in Ensuring Human Rights at the State and Local LevelColumbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute; International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies

B. Non-Discrimination and Equal Rights of Men and Women (Arts. 2, para. 1; 3; and 26)

1. Report of the Sentencing Project to the United Nations Human Rights Committee Regarding Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice SystemThe Sentencing Project

2. Stopped, Seized, and Under Siege: U.S. Government Violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights through Abusive Stop and Frisk PracticesCenter for Constitutional Rights

3. United States Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [Racial Profiling]: Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute

4. Deporting the Evidence: Migrant Workers in the South Expose How U.S. Immigration Enforcement against Human Rights Defenders Violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political RightsNew Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice; The Congress of Day Laborers, New Orleans; Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice Human Rights Project

5. Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading: Homelessness in the United States under the International Covenant on Civil and Political RightsThe National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty; Yale Law School Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic

6. Supplemental Information Regarding the Human Rights Committee’s Periodic Review of the United States of America in its 109th Session [Reproductive Rights]: Center for Reproductive Rights

7. Access to Justice and Healthcare for Migrant Farmworkers in the United States: A Shadow ReportMaryland Legal Aid

8. Failure to Protect: U.S. Violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political RightsThe International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination

9. Structural Racialization and Food Insecurity in the United StatesHaas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the UC-Berkeley; Professor Miguel Altieri, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC-Berkeley; Food First Institute; Oakland Institute; Professor Molly Anderson, Partridge Chair in Food and Sustainable Agriculture Systems, College of the Atlantic; Food Empowerment Project; Urban Tilth; Edible Schoolyard Project; Food and Water Watch; Center for Food Safety

C. Right to Life (Art. 6)

1. Shadow Report on the Death Penalty in the United StatesThe Advocates for Human Rights; Reprieve

2. Written Statement on Stand Your Ground LawsThe Dream Defenders, Inc.; Community Justice Project of Florida Legal Services, Inc.; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

3. Written Statement on Violence Against WomenThe Advocates for Human Rights; University of Miami School of law Human Rights Clinic; Legal Momentum

4. Raising the Issue of Continued Discrimination via Police Misconduct and Extra-judicial/Summary Executions Committed with Impunity on American Born People of Afrikan DescentChicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression

5. Suggested Urgent Issue for the U.S. re Fukushima RadiationFukushima Response; Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee; Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute

D. Prohibition of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Right to Liberty and Security of Person, and Treatment of Persons Deprived of their Liberty (Arts. 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14)

1. Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment: Criminalizing Dissent in the United States Despite International Covenant on Civil and Political RightsMalcolm X Center for Self Determination; National Jericho Movement for Amnesty and Freedom of All (U.S.) Political Prisoners

2. The Shackling of Incarcerated Pregnant Women: A Human Rights Violation Committed Regularly in the United StatesUniversity of Chicago Law School International Human Rights Clinic; Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM); The National Prison Project of the ACLU Foundation

3. The United States’ Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with Respect to the Continued Detention Without Charge or Trial of Prisoners for an Undefined Duration at the Guantánamo Bay Detention FacilityThe Center for Victims of Torture

4. Youth Incarcerated in Adult Prisons in the U.SACLU Michigan Juvenile Life without Parole Initiative; International Women’s Human Rights Clinic; Campaign for Youth Justice; University of Miami Human Rights Clinic

5. Violations of the Rights of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Other Non-citizensThe Advocates for Human Rights

6. Written Statement on Deportations to Haiti: University of Miami School of law Human Rights Clinic and Immigration Clinic; Americans for Immigrant Justice; Center for Constitutional Rights; Alternative Chance; Haitian Women of Miami (FANM)

7. Access to Justice: Ensuring Meaningful Access to Counsel in Civil CasesColumbia Law School Human Rights Clinic; National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel; National Legal Aid & Defender Association; Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.; National Center for Access to Justice at Cardozo Law School; Brennan Center for Justice; Center for Law and Social Policy; Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law; Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute; Northeastern University School of Law Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy

E. Elimination of Slavery and Servitude (Arts. 8 and 24)

1. Troubling Gaps in the U.S. Response to Human Trafficking under the International Covenant on Civil and Political RightsSanta Clara University School of Law International Human Rights Clinic

2. Addressing Question 21(a) and 21(b) in the List of Issues on Criminalization of Trafficking Victims in the U.S. and Effective Remedies: City University of New York School of Law International Women’s Human Rights Clinic; Legal Aid Society, Trafficking Victims Advocacy Project; Urban Justice Center, Sex Workers Project

F. Freedom of Speech and Expression (Art. 19)

1. ICCPR Shadow Report: The Misuse of United States Law to Silence Pro-Palestinian Students’ Speech and Expression: Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus; American Muslims for Palestine; Council on American Islamic Relations-San Francisco Bay Area; Center for Constitutional Rights; National Lawyers Guild International Committee

G. Freedom of Assembly and Association (Arts. 21 and 22)

1. United States’ Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Freedom of Association and the Right to Equality and Non-Discrimination [Excluded Workers]: United Workers Congress; Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights; International Commission for Labor Rights; National Lawyers Guild, Labor and Employment Committee; National Lawyers Guild, International Committee; Transnational Legal Clinic, University of Pennsylvania Law School; Cornell University Labor Law Clinic; New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice; Vermont Workers Center; Border Network for Human Rights; Migrant Justice

H. Right to Take Part in the Conduct of Public Affairs (Art. 25)

1. United States Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [Voting Rights]: Meikeljohn Civil Liberties Institute

2. Continuing Violations of Equal Political Participation for the Residents of the District of ColumbiaWorld Rights

3. Independent Information for the 107th Session of the Human Rights Committee [Chicago School Closings]: Midwest Coalition for Human Rights; University of Chicago School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic

I. Other Considerations: Toxic Chemicals

1. United States Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [Toxic Chemicals]: Meikeljohn Civil Liberties Institute