US first report on human rights – hopefully, the beginning of progress

This week the US published its first ever report on human rights in the country. It’s a part of the Universal Periodic Review, the procedure that all UN-countries are required to undergo.

Jennifer Turner from the American Civil Liberties Union believes it’s a very important move for the country, but consistency is important.

“The Bush administration refused to even join the Human Rights council, and after Obama took office in 2008 he said that the US would join,” Turner told RT. “The Universal Periodic Review Process is the historic process and every country of the UN is to undergo the process and this review will end in 2011. The US comes up for review in November.”

“It seems that the Obama administration uses this report to say that the US has a historic commitment to human rights – that’s why it mentions the history of ending slavery, for instance,” she added. “But the report also talks about the US’s commitment to human rights and to engagement with the process, and in that sense this report is a very important signal. But the bigger question I thinks is whether the Obama administration will turn this commitment to human rights into policy, if that will improve the human rights situation in our country.”