the global battle for human rights, who should speak for the victims?
Republic of China
Others, U.S. Must Address its Own Abysmal Human Rights Record
Is the United States hypocritical
for issuing a yearly report on human rights violations around the world, while
it has committed and continues to commit human rights abuses of its own?
According to this editorial from China's state-run Xinhua, before Washington criticizes other nations, it should get its own human
rights house in order.
China's report said the U.S.
reports are "full of distortions and accusations about the human rights
situation in more than 190 countries and regions, including China. However, the
United States turned a blind eye to its own terrible human rights situation, seldom
The United States has co-opted
human rights as "a political instrument to defame the images of other
nations and to pursue its own strategic interests," the report said. Illustrating
the dismal human rights record of the U.S., China's report said that the United
States has no credibility to pose as the world's "human rights protector."
after year, the U.S. releases its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices to
accuse and blame other nations for their human rights practices," the
report said. It said that this policy fully exposes the hypocrisy and double
standards of the United States on the issue of human rights, and its malicious plan
to pursue hegemony under the pretext of human rights.
The report advises the U.S.
government to "take concrete measures to check, improve and rectify its
own human rights conditions and behavior in the field of human rights, and stop
its hegemonic habit of using the issue of human rights to interfere in the
internal affairs of other countries."
U.S. VIOLATION OF CITIZEN RIGHTS
The report outlines that in
the United States, government violations of civil and political rights are severe.
-- The privacy of citizens has
been greatly undermined. Between October 1, 2008 and June 2, 2010, more than
6,600 air travelers have been subject to searches by electronic devices, nearly
half of them American citizens. The report cites figures released by the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in September 2010.
-- The abuse and torture of
suspects by U.S. law enforcement for the purpose of forcing confessions is
serious, and "wrongful conviction occurs quite often."
-- While advocating Internet
freedom, the U.S. in fact imposes fairly strict restrictions in cyberspace. It
applies double standards on Internet freedom by requesting unrestricted
"Internet freedom" in other countries, while imposing strict
restrictions within its own territory. This has become an important diplomatic
tool for putting pressure on and seeking hegemony over other countries.
-- While the U.S. regards
itself as the "beacon of democracy," its democracy is based largely on
money. According to media reports, 2010 U.S. House and Senate candidates
shattered all fundraising records for a midterm election, taking in more than $1.5
billion as of October 24. The midterm election, held in November 2010, ultimately
cost $3.98 billion, the most expensive in U.S. history.
HIGHEST INCIDENCE OF VIOLENT CRIME
-- One out of every five
people in America is a victim of a crime every year. The United States has the highest
incidence of violent crime in the world, and the lives, property and personal
security of its people are not sufficiently protected.
In 2009, an estimated 4.3
million violent crimes, 15.6 million crimes against property and 133,000 robberies
were committed against U.S. residents 12-years-old or older, and the rate of violent
crime was 17.1 victims per 1,000 people. The figures are from the U.S.
Department of Justice.
-- The United States also
ranks first in the world in terms of the number of privately-owned guns, and
has the highest incidence of gun-related crime. The report notes that on already
rampant gun ownership, the United States exercises controls that are too lax. Some
90 million people own an estimated 200 million guns in the United States, which
has a population of about 300 million. Statistics showed there were 12,000 gun
murders a year in the United States. The report also highlighted the frequent
campus shootings at colleges in the United States.
DEEP-SEATED RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
-- "Deep-seated racial
discrimination in the United States has permeated every aspect of social life."
Minority groups confront employment
discrimination. Black people are treated unfairly or excluded when it comes to
promotions, welfare and employment. The report quoted U.S media. One-third of Black
people reportedly confront discrimination at work, while only one-sixteenth would
lodge a complaint.
-- The New York Times on
September 23, 2010 reported that by the end of September 30, 2009, a record 803
Muslim workers had filed complaints about employment discrimination, up 20
percent from the previous year.
-- The report said U.S.
minority groups have a higher unemployment rate than the national average, and
don't enjoy the political status of White people.
-- The proportion of U.S.
minorities living in poverty is high. The poverty rate for blacks was 25.8
percent in 2009. The poverty rates of those of Hispanic and Asian origin were
25.3 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively. This is much higher than non-Hispanic
Whites, the poverty rate of which was 9.4 percent.
-- U.S. minority groups face
obvious inequality in education, and healthcare statistics for African-Americans
-- Racial discrimination is
evident in law enforcement and the judiciary. Hate crimes based on race are
frequent, and the rights and interests of immigrants are not guaranteed.
POVERTY HITS RECORD HIGH
The proportion of American
people living in poverty has risen to record highs, according to the report.
-- A total of 44 million
Americans found themselves in poverty in 2009, four million more than that of
-- According to the U.S.
Census Bureau, the share of residents in poverty climbed to 14.3 percent in
2009, the highest level since 1994.
-- The number of homeless and
hungry Americans increased sharply and the number of people without health
insurance rises every year.
-- The unemployment rate in
the United States remains stubbornly high. Statistics in the U.S. media show
that from December 2007 to October 2010, a total of 7.5 million jobs were lost.
STATUS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN ALARMING
Gender discrimination widely
exists in the United States, and women in the country often experience sexual
assault and violence.
Statistics show that some 20
million women a year are raped in the country, some one fifth female students
on campus are victims of sexual assault, and nearly 3,000 female soldiers were
sexually assaulted in fiscal year 2008, up nine percent from the year before.
Women are also victims of
U.S. domestic violence, with some 1.3 million domestic violence victims every
year, with women accounting for 92 percent of those. Many U.S. children live in
poverty, and their physical and mental welfare is hardly ensured, with nearly
one in four children struggling with hunger.
The report also points out
the severity of violence against children in the country, citing figures from
the Love Our Children USA Web
site, that every year, over three million children are victims of violence and that
the actual number is likely to be three times higher.
Over 93,000 children are
currently incarcerated in the United States, and between 75 and 93 percent of children
have experienced at least one traumatic experience, including sexual abuse and
According to the report,
pornographic content is rampant on the Internet and severely harms American
children, as seven in 10 have accidentally accessed pornography on the Internet
and one in three has done so intentionally.
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
The United States has a
notorious record of international human rights violations, said the report.
U.S.-led wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan have caused huge civilian casualties.
Figures from the WikiLeaks Web
site reveal that from March 2003 through the end of 2009, there were up to
285,000 war casualties in Iraq, with 63 percent of the 109,000 people killed during
the Iraq War being civilian. "U.S. military actions in Afghanistan and
other regions have also brought tremendous casualties to local people," the
The report cited the
notorious "kill team" formed in Afghanistan by five soldiers from the
5th Stryker Combat Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division of the U.S. forces. The team committed
at least three murders, in which they randomly targeted and killed Afghan
civilians, later dismembering the corpses and hoarding human bones.
In addition, U.S.-led North
Atlantic Treaty Organization troops caused death and injury to 535 Afghan
civilians in 2009. Among them, 113 were shot and killed, up 43 percent over
2008, the report quoted McClatchy Newspapers as saying.
PRISONER ABUSE SCANDALS
The United States has been
holding individuals captured under the pretext of the "war on terror"
and with various methods abusing detainees, according to the report.
The U.S. Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) established secret detention facilities to interrogate so-called
"high-value detainees," said the report, citing a document submitted
to the United Nations Human Rights Council in May 2010.
According to the document,
the CIA had taken custody of 94 detainees, and had employed "enhanced
techniques" to varying degrees, including stress positions, extreme
temperature changes, sleep deprivation and "waterboarding" in the
interrogation of 28 of those detainees.
FAILURE TO FULFILL INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS
The United States has refused
to sign several key international human rights conventions and failed to
fulfill its international obligations, according to the report.
In addition, the first report
submitted by the U.S. government to the U.N. Human Rights
Council on its domestic human rights situation during the U.N.
Universal Periodic Review (August 20, 2010), received a record 228
recommendations from about 60 state delegations for improving its human rights
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
referred to, among other things, ratifying key international human rights
conventions, rights of ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, racial
discrimination and the prison at Guantanamo Bay. The United States, however,
only accepted some 40 of them.
During the discussion about
the United States, speakers from some delegations noted that America's commitment
to human rights was far from satisfactory, and they urged the United States to
face up to its human rights record and take concrete action to tackle its
existing human rights problems, according to the report.
Help Support Worldmeets.us
Worldmeets.us is a non-partisan, volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization that operates solely in the public interest. The opinions expressed in articles posted by Worldmeets.us are not necessarily those of Worldmeets.us, its sponsors or its volunteers.