Civil and Human Rights Coalition Responds to United Nations Human Rights Recommendations for the U.S.

Media 05.20,15

WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the release of recommendations by the United Nations Human Rights Council following its Universal Periodic Review of the U.S. human rights record on May 11 in Geneva. The United States has until September 2015 to indicate whether it will accept or reject each of the Council’s 348 recommendations:

“The Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review is an important process for holding nations accountable for their human rights records, and we’re pleased that in its review of the United States, many members of the Council have included recommendations raised by The Leadership Conference.

Among those recommendations are a call for the U.S. to reform its criminal justice system, including ending racial profiling, addressing the excessive use of force by police, and adopting a moratorium on the federal death penalty with a view toward its abolition. The Council also recognized that the United States still lacks a national human rights institution and is recommending the creation of a more robust domestic mechanism charged with implementing human rights obligations and treaty recommendations in the United States. We have urged the White House to take concrete steps to develop a systematic and effective interagency mechanism to advance implementation.

In addition, many members of the Council called on the United States to ratify international human rights treaties from which the United States is still not a party, particularly CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women) and CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).  We urge the Obama administration to continue to pressure the Senate to ratify these fundamental human rights treaties.

We look forward to working with the administration and the Senate to achieve these goals.”

Wade Henderson is president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit